Butterfly Footprints creates a special memorial keepsake for parents who have lost a baby.

The child's footprints are turned into an image of a butterfly.

Butterflies are a common symbol associated with the death of a child. Butterflies also have a religious meaning. They are a symbol for new life. This is based on its various stages of life. The caterpillar represents the mortal life of people here on Earth. The cocoon compares with death. The caterpillar breaks out of its cocoon & emerges with a new body as a beautiful butterfly, just as human beings emerge from death into new life.


On May 13th, 2009, our daughter, Janessa Marie, passed away from a placental abruption. I was 31 weeks pregnant with her, just days shy of the 8 month mark. With my own life in danger, labor was induced. She was born the next morning about nine hours after her death.

We spent about fourteen hours with her before enduring the worst moments of our lives, when we handed our beautiful baby girl over to the nurse for the last time. We would not see her again until she was dressed in her burial clothes & placed inside her pearly-pink coffin.

Her footprints, along with a handful of pictures, and the only dress she wore, were the few keepsakes we had to remember her with.

Through my grief and endless search for resources & support, I stumbled upon the meaning of butterflies in relation to grief. I spent countless hours in her butterfly decorated nursery, clutching her items, sobbing, and yearning for the lifetime of memories we would never share together.

In my grieving I sought out a way to honor her memory & a way to bring peace and healing into my heart. I wanted to find a way to reach out and contribute to the amazing online baby loss community that walked with me through my darkest days and helped me find the light again.

I later learned that the name Janessa means, "God's Gracious Butterfly". (Janessa is a combination of Jan & Vanessa. Jan means: "God is Gracious" & Vanessa means "Butterfly") We could not have chosen a more perfect name for our own little butterfly who has taught us how to be gracious in life. She brought with her the lesson on how fragile life is and taught us to appreciate each day for the blessing & the miracle that it is.

In August of 2010, I launched the memorial website & have been creating keepsakes for grieving parents ever since. I offer families one more special item to remember their child with. Each time I hear back from a family whose heart has been warmed by their child's image, my heart is as well.

This website is very personal to me & has become my way to honor all babies who have passed. Through Butterfly Footprints, Janessa's precious footprints continue to imprint this world.

This is her legacy.


kizmok said...

What a wonderful way of continuing your daughter's legacy. My husband and I believe that our daughter Katy has come to us in the form of as butterfly so this is a very meaningful symbolism for us. Do you send the memorial cards in the form of as jpeg?

Sending love to you and your family, especially little Janessa Marie. xxxx

Malory said...

Hello :)

Yes, the high resolution digital files are sent via email as a jpeg.

Thank you for your wishes <3

Sending love & healing to your family as well.


Sara Rohlfing said...

My husband and I lost our 4 month old son to SIDS just 8 days ago. Yesterday, we held a celebration of life for Tristan. My oldest son, TJ, and my nieces were running around the yard chasing something. Out of curiosity, I followed them, only to find that there was one lone butterfly visiting the yard. This was a big, beautiful butterfly. A smile finally came to my face just knowing this was my angel visiting us, playing with his brother and cousins, letting us know he was still with us. Your page reminded me of my little man. Thank you.

Malory said...

That is beautiful, Sara.

I am so sorry for the loss of your baby boy.

Sending you love, healing, & peace.

xoxo <3