The Butterfly Garden and Overlook is an open space, sacred place for individuals to work through the pain of grieving. Four tasks help us move into the next phase of life, each represented as architectural and natural elements throughout the garden. Task one, “Accepting the Reality of the Loss”, begins as visitors pass through the portal of the lost home, the front door.
The path takes you on a journey around the site, allowing for Task two, “Processing the Pain of Grief”. Areas with a bench and journal act as a destination and provide a sacred space in nature to, Task three, “Adjust to a World Without What We Lost”. Visitors are encouraged to write and reflect in the journal.
The “penciled” outline of homes represents all homes erased by the storm. The plaques educate future generations on the destruction, acts of heroism, survival, and the “Miracle of the Human Spirit” while providing an “Enduring Connection to What we Lost, We move on but do not forget”, Task four. Butterfly attracting flowers create the unifying circle of the butterfly garden, providing an encompassing sense of boundary, safety, and enclosure.
Thirty-eight segments of the waterfall represent the minutes the tornado was on the ground. A void at minute 7 is the moment it struck this park.