BUTTERFLIES FREE TO FLY: Annual hospice ceremony helps bring closure

Published 12:40 am Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Three-hundred-and-fifty people released butterflies  Saturday in memory of loved ones at Comfort Care Hospice’s 9th Annual Butterfly and Bluegrass Ceremony.

Comfort Care volunteer coordinator Genny Spurlin Lee said that the butterflies symbolize rebirth.

“Our Butterflies and Bluegrass Ceremony is a time where the bereaved families come and honor their loved ones by releasing a butterfly,” Lee said. “We use the butterfly ceremony itself as a way to remember those who are no longer with us. It is a happy day that is filled with music, laughter and activities for everyone. It is honestly our hope for the people that come to leave the ceremony with a greater sense of peace than when they arrived.”

Beverly Gilder and Carole Thomasson release butterflies.

When the butterflies are released, Lee said that there is an array of emotions that come over the crowd.

“When the butterflies are released and you look around, you see a range of emotions,” Lee said. “From wonder and amazement to sadness and grief. Grief is a journey and although it will not suddenly end the day of the butterfly release, it is our hope that people will leave with a greater sense of peace and will feel uplifted.”

Lee said that a lot of people who attended the ceremony told her that they did not have closure.

“Until this day, they did not have that closure that they needed,” Lee said. “The butterfly release itself is meaningful to all of the attendees and provides so much for them. Comfort Care makes sure to follow the families at least 13 months after the passing of a loved one just to make sure that they are OK.”

The Kempter’s Vintage Gospel Group performed for the Butterfly and Bluegrass Ceremony, Steam Boat provided sandwiches for the attendees and Andalusia Full Gospel Tabernacle provided a shuttle service for attendees that had to park a distance from Kirkpatrick Park.