SHELBY COUNTY, Ind. – Every day, we report on the number of COVID-19 deaths in Indiana. However, it’s important we remember the people behind those numbers.
Catherine Roberts hopes a new memorial in Morristown will make you pause and reflect.
“Every yellow heart we have on the wall here represents someone who has passed from COVID-19,” said Roberts.
You’ll find more than 700 yellow hearts inside the Velma Wortman Morristown Branch of the Shelby County Public Library. There’s one name on the wall who inspired Roberts and her mother to create the Crossroads Indiana Memorial.
“My grandfather was not just a number,” she said,” He meant something.”
Roberts’ grandfather passed away from COVID-19 in January. It was hard for their family to cope with the loss. What helped was the discovery of a Yellow Hearts Memorial in Texas. Originally created by Rosie Davis in honor of her mother and the victims of COVID-19.
“It’s helped us to hear other people’s stories,” shared Roberts.
She wanted to share that healing she felt with Central Indiana.
“Spend some time and look at everything and read stories and look at the faces of the people that we’ve lost and just, it helps to maybe let people understand the magnitude of the loss,” Roberts added.
For those who need it, grief and trauma resources are available at the memorial. There are also books related to the pandemic and to help children deal with loss.
“It’s been a quiet place for people to reflect and remember and sit with the idea of what’s happened,” said Roberts. “To know there’s people out there that they care about you, they want to grieve with you and they’re not going to say that’s it fake and it’s not happening, because they know that it is.”
Each yellow heart for Roberts is a symbol of hope that these families who have lost someone to COVID-19 aren’t alone.
“Maybe we’re helping somebody grieve,” she said.
The yellow hearts are on display through November 20.
If you would like to submit a person’s name, picture, or story to be included in the memorial you can do so by contacting the Crossroads Indiana Memorial Facebook page or by emailing CrossroadsIndianaMemorial@gmail.com.
If you’d like to visit the memorial, go to the Velma Wortman Morristown Branch of the Shelby County Public Library during business hours.