helping grief through photos

This past October 20th Yves and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. It was a beautiful fall day, and we had the privilege to give back by spending our morning capturing the 3rd edition of the Ottawa Butterfly Run. I have been covering the Ottawa Butterly Run since it's first edition, however this year was the first time I had the pleasure of having Yves by my side to capture it. We have taken so many photos during this event, it was hard to make our final gallery, which ended up with a little over 1,400 images for the organization and the families to enjoy and access. But one thing is certain, is that we will be there again next year for the 2020 edition.

This event has grown so much since it's first year! And this wonderful event would not be possible without the incredible work of the Executive Committee, who skillfully orchestrate every aspects of it, from the fundraising events and activities throughout the year to the organization of the run. They are also supported by a great team of volunteers, sponsors and donators to help them achieve their goals, which are raising awareness on infertility, pregnancy and infant loss, as well as support the Roger Neilson House, which offers perinatal hospice support to families facing the loss of a baby. This year the Butterfly Run raised and donated $95,000 to the Roger Neilson House, which is $28,000 more than last year!

This cause that has been dear to my heart for quite a few years now. Although I have been taking a pause, volunteering for Now I lay Me Down To Sleep has made me realize how important remembrance was for bereaved families. There are no words to describe their loss, nothing that will ever fill the void left by their little angels gone too soon. But every little memories and momentos they do have are cherished beyond words, showed with pride and remembered fiercely.

One thing I have seen year after year, is the resilience of the beautiful families that attend the Butterfly Run. I get to see new families, families that have attended previous years, families that have grown since the last event, families that have suffered a loss since the last event. There are some tears, there are quiet moments, but most of all there is peace, and smiles. Families running/walking together for their little angels, fathers, mothers, grandparents, brothers, sisters, twins, uncles, aunts, friends, youngster and grownups. All these people tied together by the most unbearable loss, lifting each other up, supporting one another, remembering their precious babies. This event is filled with love, and so much it. This is healing, a little grain of it at a time.