As many as 800 butterflies will be released into the air symbolizing change, rebirth and renewal at the Seventh Annual Butterfly Release and Memorial Service hosted by Faith Presbyterian Hospice. The service will be emotionally moving and will provide the public with a meaningful way to celebrate the lives of loved ones who have passed away. The community butterfly release and memorial service will take place at Presbyterian Village North on May 4, at 2 p.m. It is open to the public and free of charge.
“One of the ways to heal after a loss is to honor and remember,” said Valerie Sanchez, director of bereavement and integrated therapies for Faith Presbyterian Hospice. “We typically think of a memorial service as being sad, but we want to show honor through joy and celebration of life. We know that it is helpful for families to look around and see that they are not alone in their grief. The butterflies represent the growth that comes out of the grieving process.”
The memorial service will begin with a ceremony under a tent on the Presbyterian Village North lawn, where Godwin Dixon, chief executive officer of Presbyterian Communities and Services, will welcome everyone. Then, Carolyn Osoinach, chaplain at Faith Presbyterian Hospice, will speak about peace and reflection, followed with music by MosaicSong, an all-female a capella group. Sanchez will then speak on grief and bereavement after which everyone will pause for a moment of remembrance and then release their butterflies.
“Once everyone has finished releasing their butterflies there will be refreshments as well as a reflection area to write messages which will be put in a scrapbook,” said Sanchez. “We will also have an area to paint portions of a stained-glass piece of art. The event will include art areas for kids as well, where they can create butterflies out of coffee filters and water colors or tissue paper hearts to represent their lost loved ones.”
Faith Presbyterian Hospice plans on providing over 800 monarch butterflies to attendees as part of the memorial process. The way the butterflies transform from stillness to freedom has been compared to the progression of the grieving process, changing from intense grief to celebration of life and memories.
“The butterfly release is truly an inspirational experience to witness and leaves a lasting impression on the public and many families we have cared for through Faith Presbyterian Hospice,” said Dixon. “This ceremony is a very positive and uplifting way to deal with grief, and it gives us a chance to reunite with hundreds of families we have helped over the years. The service and activities are particularly beneficial for children dealing with loss, and we will have child life specialists on hand to encourage the children.”
The public is encouraged to attend the Seventh Annual Butterfly Release Memorial Service to share in a special afternoon of memories, on May 4, at 2 p.m. at Presbyterian Village North (8600 Skyline Drive, Dallas, TX 75243). To reserve your butterfly, please call 214-699-4743 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.