Special Floral Tribute: Arbor Plants Over 20,000 Flowers to Remember Lives Lost to COVID-19

Special Floral Tribute: Arbor Plants Over 20,000 Flowers to Remember Lives Lost to COVID-19

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The magnitude of the pandemic’s impact on Canadians' lives is difficult to fathom. Canada has now surpassed 25,000 deaths connected to COVID-19, marking another grim milestone in the country's fight against the novel coronavirus. Each of those losses has cascaded through families, friends and communities, leaving many more thousands bereaved. Public health guidelines and social distancing have resulted in restrictions around traditional mourning, leaving many unable to say goodbye or grieve.

Arbor Memorial thanks its employees who have gone above and beyond the regular call of duty each day this past year to help families say goodbye in a meaningful way while staying physically apart and adhering to the ever-changing restrictions. In an effort to further demonstrate our care and compassion during this difficult time, our staff have planted more than 20,000 red geraniums across the country to collectively remember the more than 20,000 lives lost in Canada over the past 15 months.

The Special Floral Tribute project is an Arbor employee-run initiative with a simple goal of honouring the grandparents, the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, children, neighbours, co-workers and friends who we said goodbye to this year. It’s also about comforting and supporting those they left behind.

At Arbor, we have seen firsthand the heartbreak of losing someone during the pandemic, and understand that the pandemic is creating a new context for people to comprehend death and grief. That’s why it was important for our staff to create a peaceful space for the community to safely gather, pause and remember.

The 20,000 geraniums were planted throughout the spring in flower beds, planters and gardens, depending on the location, and are marked with signage to explain the significance of this tribute.

Over the course of the summer, we will continue to encourage visitors and our local communities to safely enjoy the beauty of the geraniums and remember the lives lost as a result of the pandemic.

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