GREENVILLE, S.C. — We are almost halfway into 2020, and the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic continues to impact lives around the world.
To date, nearly 100,000 people lost their lives to the deadly virus in the U.S. Because of strict social distancing guidelines, friends and family are not allowed to say goodbye to their loved ones who are dying from COVID-19.
In a selfless effort to help people memorialize their loved ones, a couple in Greenville, South Carolina, created a website where friends and families can pay tribute to those who lost their battle with COVID-19.
In April, Dermot Jevens and Rebecca Heiss, launched the digital memorial, MourningAmerica.org.
“This is a spot where people could come together and mourn loved ones that can't do it the official way right now,” Heiss said.
Shortly after the launch, people from all across the United States started to send in their tributes.
“Families have submitted their stories and their pictures of their loved ones,” Heiss said.
One of the main goals for the digital memorial is to help families who were not financially prepared to afford an obituary.
“There are tremendous costs associated beyond, the emotional parts of a funeral. One of the first financial concerns for many is the cost of printing an obituary or posting an obituary. It is something that's beyond their means right now,” Jevens explained.
“We don't want anybody in this country to be limited from telling the story of their loved one,” he said.
Currently, there are about 100 people from Florida listed on the site. However, there are only four tributes.
Jevens and Heiss’ goal is to have each space, which is represented with a red dot, filled with a picture and a story.
“We need everyone's help to continue to be able to spread awareness, and bring stories, Jevens said.
“We essentially want to create a grassroots movement around families, in their own words to this disease,” he said.
If you have a loved one who lost their life to COVID-19, head to MourningAmerica.org to submit your tribute.
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