The Butterfly Run, Though Virtual, Can Still Offer Healing and Support
As the Butterfly Run Vancouver gears up for its third straight year it is easy to feel some disappointment that once again the run will be virtual, as the pandemic continues to make a large in-person run impossible. When the run planning committee made the decision to hold the 2020 run virtually, they in no way envisioned that a year later we would still be facing the same situation.
However, anyone who participated in last year's virtual event can tell you, although different, it was still very special to be a part of. As one loss mom shared, "there are two days where I feel I really get to celebrate and grieve my stillborn son with others - his birthday and the day of the Butterfly Run." A virtual event provides that opportunity to walk or run with others in an area of your choosing and openly share the grief, loss and love felt by people facing infertility and pregnancy and infant loss. There is still very much a shared feeling that "you are not alone."
There can also be tremendous pride and joy in the amount of funds raised by participants - last year's virtual run raised 63 thousand dollars, and this year's run could top that amount.
A participant in last year's Butterfly Run, Dianne, had this to share about her experience with the virtual event.
“The silver lining in all the sorrow of the pandemic, which led to the 2nd annual Butterfly Run 2020 becoming a virtual run, was the amazing positive feedback from others and the increased participation in the event itself. Our family participation doubled from 2019, as the location we chose was closer to home for all, AND on our walk/run we encountered so many people who inquired about our mascot (our dog with wings) and our group’s t-shirts. I really feel we increased awareness of perinatal and infant loss in unmeasurable amounts, far beyond the reach of the central 2019 inaugural run. The buzz of a big crowd of a central location run is exhilarating, but the harmony of a virtual run and the ability to genuinely connect with others and raise awareness was equally exhilarating, if not more. Let’s make 2021, the 3rd annual, the best ever!”