Healing Grief and Celebrating Life Through Butterflies

More than 200 people, from babies in arms to elders in walkers, celebrated their memories of departed loved ones at Hospice of the North Coast’s (HNC’s) second annual Butterfly Release Memorial on May 20, 2012 at venue sponsor Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foun

At ’s (HNC’s) second annual Butterfly Release Memorial on May 20, 2012 at  in Carlsbad, each participant was given a monarch butterfly to set free simultaneously. Some soared directly up to the sky while others hovered before taking off along their new path. The butterfly set free by Tyler Hill, 11, lingered on his arm as Tyler related, “One of our family’s best friends just learned yesterday that he has cancer, so we came here today for him.”

The celebration was punctuated with tears, smiles, hugs and even some laughter as the crowd enjoyed brief inspirational presentations from Hope Bereavement Center Director Ti Johnson and other HNC staff on the significance of butterflies, which symbolize life’s transformation as well as hope and healing. PR/Events Manager Yvette Williams, a professional singer, brought a hush to the outdoor gathering with her heartfelt rendition of “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

Visitors learned anew that some of life’s greatest gifts are to have lived, laughed and loved. As one woman left, she was asked, “How are you?” Her  succinct reply sums up the meaning of the event. “Better,” she said. “Much better.”

The memorial was sponsored by Eternal Hills Mortuary;  the butterfly release by ; and the overall event was supported in part by a grant from the Coastal Community Foundation.

–Hospice of the North Coast

Judy Chauncey May 23, 2012 at 05:36 PM
I was there with my 5-year-old daughter. It was a joyful moment when we released the butterflies together. The butterflies were beautiful as they soared together, once all of us helped them "launch."


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