New York artist Kristina Libby on her Floral Heart Project—a mission to memorialize the more than half a million Americans whose deaths are attributed to the virus.

March 31, 2021

“I would watch people sort of kiss their fingers and then kiss the heart. It was allowing them to feel like it was OK to admit our sadness in the moment.“

The Floral Heart project aims “to create visualizations of those we have lost and to hold vigils and ritual ceremonies for those suffering…” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Libby started making heart-shaped floral wreaths in New York City, but her mission recently expanded across the country as people in 75 cities took part in a national event on March 1. Florists and volunteers made the event possible.
  • Why it matters: With capacity and travel restrictions, families and friends have been denied funerals and gatherings to celebrate their loved one’s life. The wreaths, in a small way, take the place of those traditions – providing Americans “a better way to grieve.”

Floral hearts comfort grieving families of pandemic dead

Floral Heart Project

How to make your own heart wreath

by Jenna Lee,