On a beautiful Saturday morning in June, Berger Hospice of Circleville held their annual Butterfly Remembrance Ceremony. Families whose loved one was cared for by Berger, as well as the general community, were invited to take part in this wonderful healing experience.
The ceremony was held at Mary Virginia Crites-Hannan Park in their butterfly garden and began with an opening prayer by Hospice Chaplain Jim Ferrell. Then, singers from the Bethel World Prayer Center Praise Team sang “His Love Never Fails.”
Following the song were butterfly readings by Sue Haley, volunteer with Berger Hospice, and Julie Olds from Defenbaugh-Wise-Schoedinger. After the readings, guests were again treated to a song, “Amazing Grace/My Chains Are Gone” by the Bethel World Prayer Center Praise Team.
Finally, Chaplain Jim blessed the butterflies and Sister Monica Justinger, Executive Director at Berger Hospice, explained the significance of the butterfly release as it relates to our grief.
Each person was then handed a small container with a butterfly. Carefully removing the rubber band and opening the outer container, families watched as the butterflies slowly began to move their wings and take flight.
This ceremony is a wonderful opportunity for families to gather in remembrance of the loved one they lost, and to honor their loved with other families who also experienced a loss.
Berger Hospice would like to thank all the volunteers who helped make this ceremony possible:
- Terry Schneider
- Bethel World Prayer Center Praise Team
- Berger Hospice volunteers
To see pictures from this event, please visit the Schoedinger Facebook page and click on Photo Albums.
The poem read by Julie Olds:
Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free, I’m following the path God laid for me.
I took his hand, when I heard his call, I followed him and left it all.
I could not stay another day, To laugh, to love, to work, to play
Tasks left undone must stay that way, I’ve found that peace at the end of the day.
If my parting has left a void, Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss, Ah, yes, these things too I will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow, I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savored much, Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief, Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me, God wanted me now, He set me free.
As you release the butterfly, let me go, There is something better; God wants us to know,
As the butterfly flutters with peaceful delight, It represents my heavenly, final flight.
Julie is the Director of Community Relations at Schoedinger Funeral Service.