Watch the Menno Place 2021 Butterfly Release

On Friday, July 30th, Menno Place released butterflies to honour the seniors who passed away from COVID-19.

It was a much smaller gathering of families, friends, guests, and staff than our annual butterfly release event, but it was a moving time to remember those who were lost at such a difficult time.

We will be honouring all those who passed away in 2020 and 2021 at upcoming memorial celebrations. These will be done on Zoom for all to participate. Dates and details will be released soon. 

We invite you watch this Butterfly Release video and hear from Menno Place CEO Karen Biggs, Mayor Henry Braun, Chaplain Ingrid Schulz, and particularly from our staff Mary Jane Vallee and Sheryl Cross who cared for our seniors during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Mary Jane Vallee:

Hi, I am Mary Jane, Resident Care Coordinator for Menno Home E2. I want to thank you for being here and on a day, we remember your family members. For many months we prepared for Covid and not understanding the full impact. On Nov 17, lives changed here at Menno Home. It changed so quickly and we soon realized, Covid was real.

42 out of 45 residents were infected with the virus and 24 staff members. We had all been so diligent, but the ghost came through E2 and we had little control. I want to let you know how much we tried and cared for your husbands and wives and parents and did the best we could. It took a toll on all of us and changed your lives forever. We felt blamed, and couldn’t understand why it happened to E2 and the residents we took such good care of. The hardest part was, no families could visit and if they did, would risk their lives and their own families from getting Covid. Staff would go home, and they were scared, afraid of passing it to their families, sleeping in a separate part of the home, wearing masks and anxiety was huge. Tensions ran high. Xmas came and was so heartbreaking we couldn’t see the hustle and bustle and families coming to visit. It was a very hard time for all of us and mostly you, as you wanted so bad to be able to come and be with your family and especially when they were dying. Covid robbed you of that time, being beside your loved one, holding their hand and comfort knowing that others cared. For that, we feel so bad.

I want to take this time, as we remember and honor all your family members lost through Covid. We too, have not forgotten them and reflect on the impact their presence had on our units. I hope when a beautiful butterfly flutters beside you, you think of your loved ones, as you mostly likely do. Butterflies have become a symbol for rebirth and resurrection, sometimes the feeling they are angels among us, some say it is the heaven –sent kisses of an angel.

I lost my husband 18 years ago and not a day goes by that when I see a butterfly, it makes me feel like he is beside me, guiding me and that gives me comfort. I hope you too will feel the same. As my young grandson said to his mother when he saw a butterfly, ‘Hey mom, there goes your dad!”