“On one of our walks during quarantine, my mom and I talked about how sad it was that people were dying and their loved ones couldn’t memorialize them or celebrate their lives. We decided we …
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To create a memorial or learn more about Covituary, visit https://www.covituary.org/.
“On one of our walks during quarantine, my mom and I talked about how sad it was that people were dying and their loved ones couldn’t memorialize them or celebrate their lives. We decided we wanted to do something to give back to all those grieving.”
These are the words of 17-year-old Sam Shoflick. And what she and her mother Megan decided to do was develop a free website for people to create memorial pages for their loved ones “so all who have been lost to the pandemic can be commemorated in this collective space,” Sam said.
Sam and Megan live in the south Denver metro area, but their site, Covituary.org, is available around world. Megan says their inspiration actually came from a particularly heartbreaking loss — a close friend’s mother was separated from her husband in their nursing home after she got sick with COVID-19.
“When she was dying, her husband couldn’t see her, so their children took an iPad and a ladder to the second-story window of their dad’s room, so he could say goodbye via FaceTime to his wife of 60-plus years,” Megan said.
Deeply affected by this story, Sam and Megan agreed that a website to honor victims of the coronavirus would have the most impact. “CovituaryTM is a place to reconnect with family and friends and celebrate the lives of those we’ve lost,” Megan said.
Through a friend, they connected with a programmer who built the interactive site. It was also vitally important their website be translated into multiple languages.
“Because the pandemic is global, we want our site to accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world,” Megan said.
Unfortunately, most of us probably know of, or have experienced, heart-wrenching tragedies like the one Megan and Sam describe — families and friends unable to share a funeral service, a celebration of life or even a goodbye.
“This is a hard and challenging topic,” Sam said. “Losing a loved one at any time is difficult, but even more so without the support of friends, family and community. This project is our way of giving back and making a difference.”
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