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Concordia’s Hospice Support and Butterfly Release Events

August 25, 2020

The butterfly has long been a symbol of hope for people around the world. The caterpillar disappears into a cocoon, appearing dead to all around. Later, it emerges, having transformed into something more beautiful and powerful than it was. Early Christians adopted the butterfly as a symbol of resurrection, of Easter joy. The creature reminds us of its Creator, who sent His Son into unassuming human flesh, who died and was buried in a tomb, who rose again, and who promises life to all who trust in Him. The butterfly is a natural testimony to us of Jesus’ words, “Because I live, you shall also live.” (John 14:19b)

Our annual Butterfly Releases, hosted by Concordia Hospice of Washington and Good Samaritan Hospice, a mission of Concordia, represent some of the many bereavement support services designed to guide the patient’s family and friends through the challenges of grief as they adjust to loss.

Butterfly Release Reminders 1Hospice Butterfly Release Memorial Events

This year, the Concordia Hospice of Washington and Good Samaritan Hospice Butterfly Releases will be streamed live on our Facebook page. To promote social distancing, guests have the option to check-in to the events on Facebook and watch the butterfly releases live or pre-register to attend in person. If you’re planning on attending in person, feel free to share your photos from the day with us on our Facebook Page using #CLMButterfly2020. The Concordia Hospice of Washington event will take place Saturday, August 29 at the Washington County Fairgrounds, 2151 North Main Street in Washington, PA beginning at 1 p.m. The Good Samaritan Hospice Drive-in event will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 30 at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Franklin Township, PA.

An update regarding the Concordia Hospice of Washington Butterfly Release scheduled at 2 p.m., August 29: Due to inclement weather the event and livestream on the Concordia Facebook page have been canceled. If you have purchased a butterfly, please continue to go to the Washington County Fairgrounds between 12:30-2 p.m. to pick up your butterflies for a take home release. Our volunteer staff will still be available to assist you. Please be prepared to release your butterflies roughly an hour after picking them up. If you are unable to pick-up your butterflies in-person, any extra butterflies will be taken home and released by our volunteers. For more information please call Michon, at: 724-250-4500 ext. 2109.

Concordia’s hospice programs have hosted Butterfly Releases since 2016. The events provide a memorable way for families to grieve their loss while also honoring and celebrating the lives of those who have gone before them. The Butterfly Releases are unique because they welcome everyone from the community, not just families of those who have used Concordia’s hospice services.

Bereavement Support Services

In addition to our memorial events, Concordia Hospice of Washington and Good Samaritan Hospice offer bereavement support services that extend 13 months after a loved one’s passing. Services include:

  • Phone calls from a bereavement team
  • Informational mailings about grieving and loss
  • Bereavement support groups
  • Support visits from the Bereavement Coordinator
  • Referral information for counseling and support services in the community
  • Memorial services
  • Workshops
  • Memory quilts or additional items

Everyone reacts to grief differently and what may work for one individual might not be effective for another. Recognizing that every loss is unique, our bereavement support services allow families and friends to find support from others who have experienced loss and understand the complexities of grief. Coping with loss is often a personal experience and everyone’s bereavement journey will be different. Hospice bereavement support services and hospice care teams are available to help an individual navigate the grieving process.

Related: How Hospice Bereavement Programs Help Families Through Grief  

Hospice and Palliative Care Services

Bereavement support services do not always begin at the end of life. Our hospice care teams work with both the patient and their loved ones to ensure that support is available during each step of the journey. Many hospice patients are introduced to this individualized form of care when they join Concordia as a palliative care patient. Palliative care, which is oftentimes called comfort care, is available to patients who are living with a critical or chronic illness. Much like hospice care, the treatments in palliative care are aimed at relieving symptoms rather than curing an illness with the treatment plan, and focus on the patient’s social, emotional and spiritual needs.

As a patient’s illness progresses and treatment has stopped, they will typically transition from palliative care to hospice care, where a specialized care plan is prepared based on each patient’s needs. Concordia Hospice of Washington and Good Samaritan Hospice offer both in-home hospice care and inpatient hospice care. With in-home hospice care, patients can stay as comfortable as possible in their home, skilled nursing facility, personal care/assisted living community or other residence. Our entire care team will visit the patient and family in their home setting as often as needed. Family members are an essential part of the caregiving process, so ensuring they are supported is a priority for our hospice care teams.

Related: Hospice Support Services for Family Caregivers  

For information about the services provided through Good Samaritan Hospice, a mission of Concordia,  and Concordia Hospice of Washington, call us at 724-933-8888 (GSH) or 724-250-4500 (CHOW) or contact us anytime via our online contact form. Learn more about our memorial butterfly release events and ways to participate by visiting the Events and News page of our website.

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