Butterfly release for those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Hundreds of people have lost their lives to COVID-19 in the Tri-Cities. For their loved ones, coping with their death can feel like an open wound, and one way to heal is to grieve. In Grand Island, Westlawn Memorial Park Cemetery held a drive-thru butterfly release Saturday to free the dead, but to also help mend broken hearts.
“When you lose a loved one, it’s hard, but you know their soul is released from their suffering body like a butterfly,” said Jennifer Hill, Office Manager at Westlawn Cemetery. “From the cocoon, it’s released and it’s free.”
Cars arrived early at the cemetery. It started around 10 a.m. and before the ceremony began, the organizers said a few words about the meaning of the release. After, they started to pass out colorful paper triangles to each car. Inside of the mini triangles, were live butterflies ready to be released into the wind.
The cemetery does this event every year but this time, they decided to go a safer route.
“That’s why we’re doing the drive-thru, pick up your butterfly and then release it wherever you would like, so we can avoid the crowds, the gatherings but there was no way we weren’t going to do it,” said Hill.
Some people stayed in their cars to release their butterfly, while others got out of their vehicles to say goodbye. Westlawn had over 200 butterflies to pass out. The event only lasted about 30 minutes and by 11 a.m., the butterfly release was over.
There’s an old belief for when a butterfly lands on someone, it’s said to be a lost friend or relative directing their path. Also if a butterfly sticks around for awhile, it’s a loved one who misses them.
“COVID-19 has hurt a lot of people in so many ways but to lose somebody from it, is so sad and our hearts go out to them,” said Hill.
Copyright 2020 KSNB. All rights reserved.