Me­mo­rial ready to fly


Sarah Field had 56 hours with her daugh­ter and she spent them mak­ing mem­o­ries.

In 2013, the Porirua woman be­came a mother to Lilly, born at 22 weeks, and although their time to­gether was brief she made it last.

‘‘I looked at her, I held her, I had casts done, hand prints and foot­prints. Once you drop her at the morgue she’s gone for­ever so those mem­o­ries are all you have.’’

Four years later, wear­ing the casts of Lilly’s tiny feet on a chain around her neck, Field is help­ing other par­ents make mem­o­ries of chil­dren they lost. She has or­gan­ised the But­ter­fly Walk­way a path­way of brightly coloured mo­saics and plaques rep­re­sent­ing a but­ter­fly’s jour­ney - to be in­stalled be­side Porirua’s Aotea La­goon and play­ground.

‘‘It’s re­mem­ber­ing our chil­dren among chil­dren. As a be­reaved par­ent you grieve ev­ery­where, you don’t need to go to a grave­yard.’’

Field said she had mod­elled the walk­way on a sim­i­lar me­mo­rial in Nel­son, where she made a plaque for Lilly.

‘‘It’s a way for par­ents to make an­other mem­ory and in­volve other chil­dren or fam­ily -

in do­ing that. They of­ten go on to have other chil­dren and it’s a place they can go and have fun and re­mem­ber the one who has passed.’’

Since she an­nounced the pro­ject 10 days ago, in­quiries had flooded in and al­most all the 114 places were full.

SANDS NZ chair­per­son Joan Curle said the loss of a baby was the loss of a life­time of mem­o­ries and memo­ri­als like the But- ter­fly Walk­way were im­por­tant for griev­ing par­ents.

‘‘To be able to dis­play your baby’s name and for your fam­ily to go along is a beautiful thing.’’

Porirua City Coun­cil parks man­ager Olivia Dovey said the coun­cil was very sup­port­ive of the me­mo­rial, which had been de­signed to fit into the new Aotea La­goon Splash Pad.

She hoped con­struc­tion would be­gin this win­ter.

Sarah Field has cre­ated a Give A Lit­tle page to help sub­sidise the cost of the plaques. Do­na­tions can be made at givealit­ but­ter­fly­walk­way­porirua

Sarah Field lays a plaque for her daugh­ter Lilly in Nel­son’s me­mo­rial path­way. She is now or­gan­is­ing a sim­i­lar But­ter­fly Walk­way for par­ents who have lost a child at Porirua’s Aotea La­goon.

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