Coming to terms with the death of a child is one of the most heartbreaking things a parent will ever go through. While everyone grieves in their own way, one father decided to remember his daughter by planting a maze of sunflowers in the shape of her signature, giving him some light in a tragic situation.
Haley Fauske was just 18-years-old when she died in a car crash in 2015 and her father Matt took a long time to accept the passing of his daughter. Last year, Matt and his two other daughters Katie and Brittany Fauske planted a couple of rows of sunflowers in tribute to Haley at their farm Three Little Birds. The farm’s name derived from his three daughters and the family thought it would be fitting to dedicate part of that farm to Haley.
This year, Matt wanted to make it even more special for his baby girl and set out planting an incredible 600,000 sunflowers to create a maze which looked vibrant and beautiful, just like Haley.
Matt recalled that they decided on sunflowers because of Haley’s love for them. He said “They were her favorite, the day she turned 18, she had to have a tattoo, and she got a sunflower on her back shoulder blade. Sunflowers were always her thing. She was sticking them in the ground here and there already. We always knew sunflowers were for her.”
Matt had initially planned to create Haley’s name in sunflowers but then he spoke to his friend Bjorn Berg about his idea who then suggested they make it more personal and create her signature. After planning out the placement of the sunflowers, Matt, Katie, Brittany and Bjorn went out with the lawnmower and created the shapes before proceeding to plant the seeds.
The beautiful tribute has attracted people from all over the world with Matt reporting that they had around 5,000 visitors this summer. Haley’s sister Katie spoke of the worldwide attention the maze mad received saying “Haley always said she was going to be famous one day, and here we go Haley. We’re doing it.” However, Matt often finds it too hard to be present at the attraction, explaining “I can’t sit up there because I always hear, ‘Sorry for your loss.'”
Matt admitted that the pain of losing his daughter will never go away but the addition of the sunflowers has made sure “there’s more smiles than there are tears.” Despite the maze already taking up acres of land, Matt said that the sunflower tribute is “going to get a little bigger,” finally adding, “Haley liked a ruckus, this would be right her alley to get people talking.”