Community gathers to release butterflies for loved ones

Butterfly release ceremony
Published: Sep. 10, 2023 at 5:51 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2023 at 5:56 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) -Community members gathered with the Flo and Phil Jones Hospice House to release butterflies in remembrance of their loved ones.

On Sunday, the St. Bernards Foundation hosted a butterfly release. The event is a fundraiser for the Flo and Phil Jones Hospice House.

Hundreds arrived to pick up small boxes that had butterflies inside them.

Every person there had a different story to tell, but they were all gathered there for the same reason.

Debbie Fedick lost her sister, Tina, exactly a year ago on Sept. 10.

“We just never thought our baby sister would be the one to go, it was just hard,” she said.

The ceremony featured a prayer, community impact, testimony, and a musical performance.

Whether a year has passed or decades, the memories of those loved never fade.

Their love still perseveres through those who remember and grieve them.

“I say we remember in the present tense because when our loved ones even leave us, we still love them, so very much,” said Diana Davis, who spoke during the welcome portion of the ceremony.

Hundreds of butterflies were released, some took flight, and others took to the ground to stay a little longer with the people there.

“We had a butterfly last year, it didn’t fly, it stayed with us,” Fedick said.

I asked her if she felt like it was her sister staying with her.

“Mhmm… yeah… definitely, she was,” she said, tearfully.

For Fedick, the loss of her youngest sister will always be difficult, but she plans on coming back every year and encourages others who have experienced any loss to do the same.

“It brings people together and that’s what you’re wanting, people together. Cause you gotta remember them,” she said.

A representative of St. Bernards said 750 butterflies were released on Sunday and estimates that $15,000 were raised for the Flo and Phil Jones Hospice House.