MILFORD — What better way to remember a loved one who’s passed than celebrate their transformation? Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice’s Annual Butterfly Release Celebration attempts to do just that.
“We didn’t want to do the sad thing there’s already so much that, we wanted to celebrate their lives,” Roxanne Debski-Seigel, the Hospice’s Communications and Marketing Consultant explained.
The ceremony is already in its 15th year, and 10 of those celebrations have been in Milford.
After music and speeches at the Memorial Park, the names of those in whose lives’ celebration the butterflies were released in Pike County were read out aloud by staff and volunteers. The large Monarch butterflies were hung up in nets in front of the Gazebo during the ceremony.
When the time came to release the butterflies, Executive Hospice Director Cecilia T. Clayton explained, “They’re a little stunned at first, and it will take them time to start flying, so please give them room.”
The butterflies emerged one by one, and true enough, just rested on the nets even when they were opened for a while, but with a little gentle coaching, all found their way out and flew up to freedom.
A large crowd had gathered to celebrate their loved ones with the butterflies.
Diana Sebzda, Director of Bereavement at The Hospice explained the Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice in Newton, N.J., is looking for more bereavement counseling volunteers, and courses will be run soon. Anyone interested should call volunteer coordinator Sue Morrow on 973-383-0115.
“We do this ceremony in three places today," Debski-Seigel continued. “ We serve all the surrounding areas”
The ceremony asked for a $20 donation for each name celebrated.
Anne Craige sang and played the guitar, and Guy Henderson played violin during the ceremony.