Memorial butterfly release a chance to grieve and celebrate

Christine Hudder

BARRY’S BAY – Catherine Mask and Dylaina Wood might lead different lives, but they share one thing in common. They have both attended the annual memorial butterfly release in Barry’s Bay to help them cope with the grief of losing a loved one.

And while their loss was too different – Mask lost her granddaughter just one day after delivery and Wood lost her father-in-law – their experience during the ceremony was similar.

Both found the butterfly release an uplifting and positive way to honour their loved ones.

Mask, a Grade 4/5 teacher at St. John Bosco brought the school’s Kindergarten and Grade 1 class to visit the Madawaska Valley Hospice on May 23. Earlier this month, Mask spent some time with the class and taught them about metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly and how that transformation can be used as a metaphor relating to the life and death process.

The students brought with them original butterfly artwork that they made with hospice volunteers, which was hung around the hospital.

It was a way to officially kick off this year’s memorial butterfly release, hosted by Madawaska Valley Hospice Palliative Care.

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