FAIRFIELD — Gloria Queen experienced NorthBay’s hospice program after her husband died almost six years ago.
She went to the Hospice Tree of Memories ceremony that December in 2007.
“It was just so nice to hear his name read off, put the ornament on the tree and then take it home afterwards,” she said.
These days she is both a hospice volunteer and still puts an ornament on the tree in her husband’s name. She’ll do it again Friday when NorthBay Hospice and Bereavement program hosts its annual Tree of Memories at the health care provider’s Green Valley Administration Center, 4500 Business Center Drive.
The evening of remembrance includes music, singing, a name reading and an opportunity to hang a ceremonial ornament on the tree with the name of the love one.
Keepsake butterfly ornaments will also be available for a donation – or picked up if they have been ordered prior. All proceeds from the donations go to fund the hospice and bereavement program.
The butterfly has a history of being the symbol for hospice, representing a metamorphosis of change and transformation, said Linda Pribble, the hospice and volunteer coordinator for NorthBay.
“It’s an icon of hope and transformation,” Pribble said. “We get to travel with them at a very poignant part of their journey.”
The keepsake ornaments are made specifically for NorthBay in the medical center’s colors of cobalt blue and white by a glass company in Sacramento nearing its 40th year in business – Rainbow Glass. Pribble searched Northern California for a company to make the ornaments and found Philip and Hazel Teefy, owners of Rainbow Glass.
Philip Teefy’s mother died of cancer two years ago and was under the care of hospice. He knows the importance of hospice, he said. He and Pribble went over a few ideas and Teefy came up with three different techniques involving the butterfly.
“It’s a great symbol and a great look . . . they turned out beautiful,” he said. “And hospice, who doesn’t love hospice?”
Pribble plans to work with Rainbow Glass using the butterfly symbol for subsequent years – the type of butterfly and the colors will change, she said.
Queen would like to see the ceremony bring attendees a “little bit of peace,” she said.
“It makes you feel that you’re not alone,” she said. “It just made me feel good when I heard them read off my husband’s name. It made me want to be involved (in hospice).”
The ceremony, which is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, is open to all friends and family who have lost a loved one – not just those helped at NorthBay.
For more information, call Pribble or Brenda Boyd at 646-3517 or send an email to Boyd at email@example.com.
Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.