Butterfly Release Brings Together Hospice Volunteers and Families


Butterfly release events are often held to celebrate transitions. This is why Renown recently brought together hospice volunteers and the people they served for a release in Fianna’s Healing Garden. 

Butterflies epitomize beauty and grace. And they also serve as a symbol of transition. Because of these associations, “Butterfly Release” events are held around the world. They serve to honor the work of hospice volunteers and the people they serve.

In Fianna’s Healing Garden on the Renown Regional Medical Center campus, volunteers released monarch and other species of butterflies into the air.

“The impact that we make on people’s lives as hospice providers and the impact that our patients and families make on our lives is incredibly tremendous,” says Melodie Osborn, Vice President & Chief Nursing Officer, Transitional Care.

Linda Derry, a 20-year volunteer for Renown Hospice, lost her husband, Richard Derry, in January 2018. She said that being on the other side of the hospice journey was different, but also amazing for her.

Butterfly Release Celebrates Family Ties

“The people that come into your home and give of themselves do this because it is something they want to do,” Derry says. “They don’t know you as a person. They don’t know you as a family, but they come in and they try to make things so much easier for you.”


For Lou Anne Geissler, it was the loss of her sister, Loretta Sue James, last August to pancreatic cancer that led to her volunteering her own time.

”We were here at Renown,” Geissler says. “The staff was fantastic, and when hospice came on board, they were just absolutely amazing. Not only did they work with her to get her comfortable, they worked with her to help her keep her dignity, which was very important. But they also worked with the family, myself, my mother and her two sons and the grandkids. It was just unbelievable, and I think it gave all of us strength to get through the days we had to go through.”

“I think hospice is important because it is comfort care,” says hospice volunteer Loren Chantler. “And the last days, weeks, months of a person’s life, they need to be comfortable. They need to not be in pain.” 

Chantler cherishes his role because of the wonderful people he gets to know. “They need to have someone to talk to,” he continues. “When the family leaves the room, they can say anything to me and I’m not going to take it anywhere.”

To learn more about Renown Hospice, visit Renown.org/Hospice.