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Butterfly Box Ottawa-Gatineau

Butterfly Box Ottawa

We are honoured to announce that Butterfly Boxes have landed in Ottawa-Gatineau to support bereaved families facing pregnancy and infant loss. Over 350 boxes have been distributed to the community since the box was first offered in 2016. 

The Butterfly Boxes of Ottawa-Gatineau are:

  • The first-of-their-kind in our region
  • packed with thoughtful items and local non faith-based resources to support grieving families
  • A tool to grow awareness and bust stigma surrounding pregnancy and infant loss in our community through a card-writing and storytelling project
  • Free of cost

These boxes have a lasting impact in two ways:

  1. Ensure bereaved families are acknowledged and supported in their loss by the community. 
  2. Grow awareness and address stigma around pregnancy and infant loss through public awareness building in card-writing and storytelling projects

What's in the Ottawa-Gatineau Butterfly Box?

Each box is packed with carefully selected items chosen by families who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss first-hand:

  • Kleenex
  • Journal
  • Forget-me-not seeds to plant a memorial garden
  • Lavender soy candle
  • Lavender bath bomb
  • A snack
  • Bereavement reading list 
  • Listing of local resources for bereaved families
  • A pre-stamped postcard for families to share an aspect of their loss with community (optional)
  • A card of condolence written by a fellow member of the community

How to get a box for yourself or a loved one (in Ottawa-Gatineau):

We are grateful to have local distribution partnerships with supportive members of the birthing and parenting community. Please contact one of the following distributors to request a box. *Everyone grieves differently. If you're requesting a box for a family or friend please speak with them beforehand to determine whether they would like to receive one. 

Please visit or you can reach out to:


I don't live in Ottawa-Gatineau. How do I get a box? 

We are working so hard with our partners to figure out a way to expand the Butterfly Box resource so that all grieving families can have access. For now we have to deliver the heartbreaking message that the boxes are currently available in Ottawa-Gatineau only. However, if you are someone who has energy and enthusiasm to help us reach more families we need your help! (see below ↓↓↓) 

How can I support the Ottawa-Gatineau Butterfly Box Initiative?

We are humbled and grateful for the support of the community for Ottawa-Gatineau Butterfly Box. Beyond the generous startup grant from JustChange Ottawa, this local initiative has also been supported generously by the Ottawa Fertility Centre as well as donations of time and funds from community members directly to ensure families have access to this resource in their time of grief. 

Within one week of launch we have had calls from across the country to send boxes to grieving families outside of Ottawa-Gatineau. We'd like so much to be able to answer those calls, and we need your help. To grow and support more communities we need two things: 1) Community Champions to help source, package and deliver the boxes locally; and 2) Funding. If you can help with either of these aspects, please get in touch. Through the grief of our own experiences we are feeling ready and empowered to do our best so no family is left unsupported. Join us in this journey.

What is the meaning behind the butterfly symbol and logo?

The butterfly is a symbol of transformation, of the spirit and the soul, and of the unending cycle of life and death. For many of us, butterflies are a symbol of the children we have lost. The metamorphosis of the butterfly is a powerful symbol in so many ways for those who are grieving. They are the beautiful tiny spark of life that came to us, lighted our lives for just a moment before fluttering away. They are the hope that the transformation that loss brings into our lives can result in something different, something beautiful. We may not be the same through this journey, but we have grown, and we are able to see things that we could not before. The logo for the Butterfly Box was inspired by the footprints of Aaron Samulack, who spent 100 precious minutes with his family after birth.  At maternity wards in many hospitals, when a family experiences the loss of a baby a purple butterfly is taped to the door to let staff entering the room know. The colours of the logo were chosen with this in mind and also represent the complexity of the emotions of loss.