I first heard of the purple butterfly when a customer ordered an arrangement for a recipient in grief of the loss of her newborn twin. Our floral designer Tricia, just happened to use a card with butterflies on it in the floral design she made for the recipient. The client called back in delight that we had used a card with butterflies featured on it, she asked if we knew of the tradition of the purple butterfly when one of the newborn twin passes. We knew not of the tradition or symbolism of a purple butterfly on the bassinet of the twin who survived. It just so happened that the butterfly card was an appropriate card to write a message of condolences and celebration of the birth.
The story of the purple butterfly began with Millie Smith, a mother who loss one of her twins after a difficult labour. On April 30, 2016, Millie gave birth to twin daughters Skye and Callie. Sadly, baby Skye had only lived for three hours after birth. The next few days, while in the NICU with baby Callie, another mother unknowingly said to Millie she was lucky to have only one baby as she was swamped with her two newborns. To this, Millie left the room in tears with her heart broken again. She was too distraught to explain about baby Skye although she wished there was a way for people to be more sensitive around parents who have lost a little one. It was then the idea of the purple butterfly came to her. She began to design a poster to be posted in the NICU with the purple butterfly logo and a short description.
“I chose butterflies, as I felt it was fitting to remember the babies that flew away, the color purple because it is suitable for both boys or girls” – Millie Smith.
Since then the logo is passed on and shared around the world. When you see a purple butterfly in a cot, please remember the little twin whose life has been taken away too soon.