Washington’s first wind phone booth opens following candlelight vigil

Battle Ground mother turns loss into community resource for those who grieve

BATTLE GROUND – Following the unexpected death of her 25-year-old son Bryce Mitchell Sain, Battle Ground mother Merlinda Sain harnessed her grief into building a wind phone booth as a place to remember her son and as a community resource where all are welcome.

Following the unexpected death of her 25-year-old son Bryce Mitchell Sain, Battle Ground mother Merlinda Sain harnessed her grief into building a wind phone booth as a place to remember her son and as a community resource where all are welcome. Photo courtesy of Tamara Greenwell
Following the unexpected death of her 25-year-old son Bryce Mitchell Sain, Battle Ground mother Merlinda Sain harnessed her grief into building a wind phone booth as a place to remember her son and as a community resource where all are welcome. Photo courtesy of Tamara Greenwell

The concept behind installation of a disconnected phone line, inside a private booth, is inspired by the original wind phone in Japan, which grew in popularity following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, serving as a source of comfort for those grieving. 

The wind phone booth provides a private place where people can confide their thoughts and let the wind carry their words to loved ones. The act of picking up a receiver and dialing a phone number is a real tangible connection that creates space for people to process grief.

“To lose a child has been the most difficult thing life has challenged me with, and in those moments when all is lost, it is my community that has pulled me through,” said Merlinda Sain. “This space is not just for me to remember my boy. It’s about acknowledging how difficult grief can be and the intense pain it creates. My hope is that those who suffer can find a small amount of comfort inside the wind phone booth.”

Photo courtesy of Tamara Greenwell
Photo courtesy of Tamara Greenwell

Thanks to an outpouring of support, labor and donated materials, the new wind phone booth located in Battle Ground took shape over the span of about four weeks. A candlelight vigil was held Sunday (May 16) in advance of the wind phone booth opening to the public on Monday.

Those interested in visiting the wind phone booth in Battle Ground can get additional information via Facebook. The booth will be open to all, daily during daylight hours.

Photo courtesy of Tamara Greenwell
Photo courtesy of Tamara Greenwell
Photo courtesy of Tamara Greenwell
Photo courtesy of Tamara Greenwell
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