Margo loved dessert, Marie was a grandmother of 12, and Joseph was a part of a unit that desegregated the Marines Corp in WWII.
They were all victims of COVID-19.
As COVID-19 deaths continue to rise in the U.S., Rebecca Heiss and Dermot Jevens are working to ensure stories of lives loss are remembered individually. Each dot on the Mourning America website represents the more than 90,000 victims of COVID-19.
"That's what we're losing with these numbers when you say 100,000 you say 100,000 what’s that? And then you break it down and you start seeing, these dots don’t do it justice," said Heiss.
Rebecca and her partner Dermot Jeven say in March, when they realized the seriousness of the virus, they knew there was something that had to do to help.
So, with a little web design experience, and determination to humanize the numbers, the couple created MourningAmerica.org, a non-profit where families can write about their loved ones and comment their memories.
"We wanted to create a place where families could come and tell a story about their loved ones, in their own words in their own landaus nothing fancy nothing that any report or a degree in English is doing for free," said Jeven.
The stories and comments tell of infectious smiles and partners missing their spouses, but one common sentiment is "gone too soon."
"These people died before they should have and many of them died alone and many of them are mourning alone," said Jeven.
Heiss and Jeven say during a financially tight time they wanted to give families a free way to honor their loved one’s legacy and mourn together. They say they'll keep working until every dot is covered with a name and a story.
Families who lost a loved one to COVID-19 can submit their story and photo on the website mourningamerica.org.