COPE families gathered this past week for another Memorial Labyrinth dedication. The day was sunny, the labyrinth beautiful with flowers and newly dedicated benches and bricks inscribed with powerful words of love.

Days before, as the new memorial bricks were being installed, I could feel the love pouring in. Then the night of the event it was literally pouring. Lightning and thunderstorms moved through, the weather symbolic of all that we can’t control.

The sky was dark and mimicked our emotions. Huddled in the COPE House, we hoped and waited for the light to break through. For a brief time the rain stopped and we gathered at the labyrinth for a dedication of benches and bricks in loving memory of our beloved children, siblings and loved ones.

How ironic that our COPE Memorial would be a labyrinth Connecting Our Paths Eternally; bringing us together on sacred ground, surrounded by benches and a circle of bricks dedicated to all those we love.

Standing in a circle, each next to their newly dedicated bricks and benches, we honored our loved ones by reciting their names. As the last name was spoken it once again began to rain.

We returned to the safety of the COPE House and found the comfort of connection. Even when there are no words, there is comfort in being together with others who understand.

By walking the labyrinth, we are taking the time to connect with ourselves, to heal, find peace, and reach out to our loved ones. When we walk the labyrinth, there is a releasing, a letting go of the details of our life. When we reach the center, we reach a place of openness, where we can remember and receive, release and return.

The plaque at the labyrinth contains this poem—”Those we love don’t go away. They walk beside us everyday. Unseen, unheard, but always near, Still loved, still missed and very dear.” Whenever we walk the labyrinth, they’re there to walk with us, “unseen, unheard but always near. ” Always reminding us that we’re all connected.

I’ve been told that butterflies, like birds, carry messages.  Because they fly at a very high frequency, they can pick up vibrations of our loved ones and be a sign of their presence.

Last week, on the day of the brick installation, I was sitting on a bench planning the dedication.  A butterfly hovered close by and rested on my arm. It fluttered from my arm to my neck, to my face, and to my lips. It then flew to the special man who installed our labyrinth and lingered by him. I couldn’t help but think that it was a message from our loved ones saying, “Thank You.”

Wishing you butterflies, dragonflies, feathers and whispers of love,



COPE President and Founder