“Healing” and “cathartic” are the two words Becky Trankle uses to describe what it means to her to attend the Village Hospice Memorial Service and Butterfly Release.
Trankle, a Lee’s Summit resident, attended the service last year after experiencing the recent loss of the two people she was closest to – her mother and her sister.
“It was a very raw and emotional time for me to attend, but I’m glad I went,” Trankle said. “It was wonderful to be around others who had been through similar things. And it’s hard to explain what being a part of the butterfly release and memorial service is like when you’ve lost a loved one. It’s both healing and cathartic.”
The next Village Hospice Memorial Service and Butterfly Release is June 5 at the John Knox Village Courtyard Community Center, 510 N.W. Peace Parkway. It begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by the Memorial Service at 7 p.m. The community is invited to attend.
The memorial service includes a time of reflection, music performed by the Village Hospice music therapist and the reading of departed loved ones’ names, followed by the butterfly release.
“As we watched the butterflies, it was interesting to see that some flew right away into the trees and flowers,” Trankle said. “But then some others held on, staying in the basket and not flying away. I was reminded of my sister, who held on towards the end, but then let go and was free. I don’t have either my sister or mom here, but their spirit is still felt. It was just a beautiful and comforting time.”
Trankle said the nurses and many other staff with Village Hospice led her through the journey she faced with her loved ones and has been there to support her afterwards as well. She said the bereavement group she attends has been very important and she has developed several wonderful friendships through them.
Trankle plans to attend the Memorial Service this year as well and said though it might not be as painful this time, it continues to be an important way for participants to draw strength from each other as they continue through the grieving and healing process.
Village Hospice is a service of John Knox Village and offers bereavement support to family members for 13 months after the loss of their loved one, as well as ongoing support groups that are open to the public.