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Annual bluegrass, butterflies event planned Saturday

Traditionally, the butterfly is used as a symbol of transformation. In many cultures, butterflies are associated with the soul, or as representations of departed souls.

On Saturday, those who have lost loved ones will have the opportunity to release live butterflies in their memory as part of Comfort Care Hospice’s annual Butterflies and Bluegrass event.

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“It’s just the sweetest thing we do,” Vickie Wacaster of Comfort Care Hospice said. “We’ll have 150 to 200 people there, easily, and everybody will get their own butterfly.”

The symbolism is important, Wacaster said.

“Now their life has turned into something beautiful,” she said. “A few years ago, we had a little boy who participated. We had served his grandfather. He let the butterfly go, but it came back and landed on the child’s shoulder, and stayed there for several minutes.”

Wacaster said the hospice holds the annual celebration of life not only for those families with whom they’ve worked, but for anyone in the community.

“Many people who have participated did not have hospice care (for their loved one), but just needed that closure,” Wacaster said. “It’s gotten larger and larger each year.

“We have some families coming every year, because we are an extension of their family,” she said. “ It’s a chance to see the nurses, aides, chaplain and social workers who were with you through a very important time. It is a reunion.”

But it also is an important time of remembrance, Wacaster said, and each participant has an opportunity to speak the name of the loved one he or she is there to remember, and to say something about that person.

“If you’ve lost someone, there is no word sweeter than someone remembering and calling their name,” Wacaster said. “We have some families that come every year. If they can’t, they let us know. Some say, ‘Please release a butterfly for me.’

“And I certainly will,” Wacaster said. “It’s so sweet.”

Wacaster said Comfort Care employees form a huge circle and let go of a butterfly for both personal family members and the patients they serve.

“You’ll see families together in their little circles, doing the same thing,” she said. “Then we’ll all come back under the tent, and be entertained.”

Members of the LBW Ensemble, and the band Magnolia Drive will perform. Sack lunches from Steamboat will be provided, and their will be a space walk, face painting, and games for children.

Jenny Spurlin Lee, volunteer coordinator for Comfort Care Hospice, organized this year’s events, which begin at 10 a.m. this Sat., May 14, at Springdale Estate.