'Floral Heart Project' brings National Day of Mourning to Maine


ELLSWORTH, Maine — One hundred floral heart memorials are being laid across the U.S. Monday, in recognition of those lost to COVID-19, and in support of those suffering from those losses.

The Floral Heart Project is a National Day of Mourning that has reached cities across the country and at least eight locations here in Maine.

The national event was started by a Maine native, Kristina Libby who now lives in New York City.

Libby’s sister-in-law, Loretta Libby-Nichols, is one of the organizers for the event in Ellsworth. She says a lot of people have just not been able to mourn during the pandemic but she wants them to know it's OK to do so. She says the events are on Monday, March 1, but people can take part until March 3. 

“The memorial will be there for three days like I said, so people can come and go if they wanna place a rose or place flowers”, Libby-Nichols said. “We will actually have a yellow ribbon if people want to write names of people that have loved ones that have been lost to Covid. They’re welcome to write the name of the yellow ribbon and we will have extra candles and they can place that ribbon on that candle. It’s just a place for people to come to find comfort and to mourn if they haven’t already.”

In Portland, Stephanie Nguyen placed a flower on the memorial in honor of her husband who died with the virus.

"We were married 40-years and now it's gone. I lost my husband seven weeks ago, and to not be able to say goodbye like so many of us, has been indescribably painful," said Nguyen.

She was able to connect with others going through the same pain Monday, which she said helps the grieving process.

Those who attend are encouraged to sing a song, read a poem, say a prayer, or whatever helps them.

Here are some of the locations from The Floral Heart Project website.