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Butterfly release brings mourners together after a devastating year

During the pandemic, many could not be with extended family or friends to grieve.

TAMAQUA, Pa. — As 150 butterflies flew into the air, Louise Schock mourned the loss of her granddaughter.

She was surrounded by many others outside the E. Franklin Griffiths Funeral Home in Tamaqua who were also remembering those they've lost.

"It's wonderful; it's so uplifting because you get that little cocoon, and when you release it, you think it's going to heaven where she is," Schock said with tears in her eyes.

Peggy Miller's mother died in January after a battle with COVID-19.

"She had gotten COVID in November, and she had the beginning stages of Alzheimer's and dementia, so she pretty much went downhill pretty quick," Miller said.

During the pandemic, Miller and many others couldn't mourn with extended family and friends. 

Some couldn't even be with their loved ones in their final moments.

Funeral Director Sank Griffiths wanted to bring people together again after such a devastating year.

"Seeing what my friends have gone through and loved ones in nursing homes and not being able to touch them and be with them, it's just been tragic," Griffiths said.

Dianne Walck lost her husband last February. 

She said that was the worst day of her life, but in that loss, she's finding a new community here.

"It's like one big family and that we're all in the same boat and we're all here to support each other," Walck said.

This is an annual butterfly release, so many here will likely get the chance to see each other once again next year.

Credit: WNEP