With the help of some butterflies, employees of Frontier Home Health and Hospice guided attendees of its third annual Celebration of Life through their bereavement.
Held at Spring Meadow Lake State Park for the first time, about 30 attendees, the family and friends of those who have passed in the last year, were each given a butterfly. They spread out, each finding their own private patch of park to release their butterfly.
"I think people can relate to the release of something beautiful that flies away from them," said Paul Goodman, a social worker at Frontier.
Goodman addressed the crowd prior to the ceremony.
"Often times we don't do a good job as a culture of grieving," he said. "It's OK to look at death. It's OK to celebrate death."
The ceremony was created as a way to help grieving families of deceased Frontier patients, but has since blossomed into a community encompassing event.
Home health aide Kasandra Ward said the ceremony also affords some closure for employees who work closely with patients and their families during the challenging end of life phase.
"We try to be there for support," Ward said.
Registered Nurse and Clinical Manager Destiny Boyd said the Light of Life event put on by St. Peter's Health every winter inspired her to create this ceremony.