Laurietta waits for a butterfly to fly away at Kinsmen Lodge in Surrey, which took part in the BC Care Providers Association’s provincewide butterfly release Friday (July 30) in honour of those they have lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Laurietta waits for a butterfly to fly away at Kinsmen Lodge in Surrey, which took part in the BC Care Providers Association’s provincewide butterfly release Friday (July 30) in honour of those they have lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Surrey long-term care home releases butterflies for those who died during the pandemic

While Kinsmen Lodge CEO says there were no COVID-related deaths, still an opportunity to recognize elders

Surrey’s Kinsmen Lodge was one of several long-term care homes that took part in a butterfly release to “honour the memory of those they have lost due to COVID-19.”

“Through the past 16 months of COVID, it’s had a significant impact on long-term care home,” said Kathleen Kennedy-Strath, Kinsmen’s CEO, adding the facility would typically have monthly celebrations pre-pandemic to remember those who had died.

She said with the butterfly release, they wanted to recognize the 57 elders who died, but Kennedy-Strath noted Kinsmen “never had a positive COVID case” and the elders died of natural causes.

“We still wanted an opportunity to recognize them.”

The provincewide butterfly release was organized by the BC Care Providers Association to be a “heartfelt and memorable event for the residents, staff and family members of the care home.”

Beverly Umlas, Kinsmen’s administrative assistant, said butterflies represent rebirth and transition. She asked people in attendance to remember the joy, love and laughter they shared with the elders when they released the butterflies.

Umlas added some residents had private releases before the event “to offer up a wish to their friends that are no longer here.”



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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