A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance

July 2022

On Wednesday, July 20, 2022, we felt fortunate to be able to host our Butterfly Release and Reflection on the grounds of Nourish Farms. This was the first time we have been able to safely host the event since 2019 due to COVID-19 concerns, making it an especially poignant event. The friends and family of all who have passed through the hospice’s care in the last three years were invited to the small ceremony to honor and remember their loved one. Fortunately for us, the impending rain held off until the event was over. Unfortunately for us, the majority of our beautiful painted butterflies were stuck in transit and unable to make the event! 

The event kicked off with a welcome from Charmaine Conrad, director of development and communications. This included a thank you to the many donors and charitable foundations who make this and other events possible. 

Elizabeth DenDekker and Joe Zenk, members of the Spiritual Care Team at Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice, then led attendees in a celebration of healing. This included a reflection on all that everyone in the community had been through as mourners and as caretakers of loved ones. Joe told attendees about the significance of the butterfly across many cultures; how it is seen as both a representation of the soul and of transformation. Thus the release of butterflies encapsulates both our loved ones’ transformation to their life after death, and our own transformation through grief to healing. 

The service continued with a reading from Ecclesiastes reminding us all that “There is a time for everything,and a season for every activity under the heavens” including “ a time to weep and a time to laugh, [and] a time to mourn and a time to dance.” The service transitioned to reminding us that we are not alone in our grief as evidenced by the large group gathered. A reflection on the poem “A Butterfly Lights Beside Us” was led by Elizabeth. After sounding a small gong, staff released the butterflies (several of whom did not want to leave the protection of their carrier!) and participants blew bubbles to commemorate their loved ones. The sky was transformed with beautiful bubbles and butterflies in a sign of release and healing. 

If you did not have the ability to attend the healing celebration in person, you can find the replay on our Facebook Page. Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice believes in walking with you and supporting you even after your loved ones have passed. Please reach out to us at 920.467.1800 or through our contact form, if you need someone to talk to, or would like to join one of our grief support groups.