It’s a small community, bound together in pain and loss.
But every year, those that have had a child die or are unable to conceive come together with family and friends.
The Peterborough Butterfly Run is an opportunity for those who have suffered such traumatic loss to tell their story and for those around them to learn how to give support.
Run chairperson Mary Orpen says that as a society, we haven’t developed social norms around this issue so people don’t know how to interact with those who has suffered this sort of loss.
“Today there’s people who are running for a particular loved one they’ve lost, or maybe for babies they haven’t conceived yet, but there’s also a ton of people here today to support their friends and families,” said Orpen. “So this gives a space for people to be supportive and maybe get a little less awkward.”
Lisa Leonard was taking part in memory of her twin sons, Sage and Dare.
Sage died before birth and Dare died 14 years later of an unsuspected medical condition.
“One of the differences in grieving Dare and Sage is with Dare there is less speculation,” Leonard said.
“I knew Dare for 14 years, and there are more tangible triggers of pain, like his favorite foods, and stories and Minions. Our grief, our hopes and our dreams and our love for them stay with us forever, incorporated into our lives.”
Runners collected pledges to raise money to local health and community services supporting those in the grip of a tragic loss, Last year the run raised $40,000. Organizers hope to match or beat that total this year.
On Wednesday, organizers said more than 1,000 participants helped raised $62,500.
“Attendance was double that of the inaugural event with 575 runners in the chip time 5-kilometre race, 265 participants in the free memorial 1-kilometre run/walk.
More than 300 notations were listed on the 2018 Peterborough Butterfly Run banner, where participants could list the names of those they were running for.