It was a beautiful, bittersweet day. Over 75 friends, loved ones, physicians and navigators gathered at the Wildflower Center, the morning of November 3rd to honor those we have lost to breast cancer this year, as well as to remember all the women that died in years past. It was so important for all of us to have this time to be together, to grieve and allow ourselves to feel the loss of so many wonderful women we knew, and to begin the process of closure and healing.
Guests were met with the soft sounds of a classical guitar, played effortlessly by renowned musician, Tony Morris. Many of the staff of the BCRC were on hand to greet everyone – our clients, some family members and a few from the medical community that attended. We all came that day to keep the memories alive, and share in the comfort of each other.
Ray Anne Evans, our Executive Director, began with a warm welcome to all, and Renee Sendelback and Cathy Troutner provided some meaningful readings specifically selected for the day. Many women were remembered as one by one, people got up to tell everything from a hilarious story about someone, to describing someone’s integrity or talents, or even just to say how much they missed them. As they spoke, they held a candle that had been identified for each woman that had died this year. These candles reconnected us and allowed us all to grieve together. We then had a moment of silence.
Then everyone was encouraged to take a handful of wildflower seeds as they moved outside for the last half of the ceremony. I read an old poem that reminded us that we are all eternally significant, and we released our wildflower seeds into the wind.
Candyce Rusk closed the ceremony with a lovely meditation in the courtyard as we formed a circle and held hands.
Everyone was welcomed back inside for a light brunch, where we continued to share memories.