Annual service of remembrance and butterfly release scheduled for June 1

The period of mourning after the loss of a loved one and the amount of support needed during that time is different for each individual. Often survivors can suffer from varying levels of bereavement months, even years after a loss has occurred.

Hospice and Palliative Care of Chautauqua County offers specialized Bereavement Counseling to help individuals or families deal with grief and the challenges associated with loss to anyone in the county. Additional supports such as establishing connections with community service providers or mental health services are also available.

The Service of Remembrance and Memorial Butterfly Release is an annual event organized by Jamie Probst, Bereavement Coordinator for Hospice.

“We know that the pain of loss can leave family and friends feeling lost and alone, uncertain of how to move forward,” she said. “Hospice would like to remind everyone that bereavement support services are available to everyone in the community, regardless of when or how your loved one died, and no past affiliation with Hospice is required. If you find yourself struggling with loss, please call the Hospice Bereavement Department for no-cost bereavement support.”

The program will be held at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church 35 West Fairmount Avenue, Lakewood, NY, on Sunday, June 1 beginning at 1 p.m. The service will be a time to gather in honor and memory of loved ones who have passed away. The event is free and will consist of music, poetry and a time for reflection. Following the memorial, participants will be asked to proceed across the street to the Hospice garden to witness the release of hundreds of butterflies to signify the transformation that takes place as loved ones leave the physical world.

Individuals desiring to submit (non-returnable) photos, poems or prayers to be included in the service can send them to Probst at 20 W Fairmount Avenue, Lakewood, NY 14750 or e-mail them to jprobst@hospicechautco.org before May 26. To participate by releasing a butterfly, please visit the website: www.hospicehautco.org.