There is nothing that can prepare a person to say the final farewell to a loved one.

Published on June 24, 2020

Mary Margaret has taken part in Alive’s butterfly release every year since it began. She credits Alive with helping her fulfill her mother’s last wishes and cope with the grief of her parents’ deaths.

“There is nothing that can prepare a person to say the final farewell to a loved one. No one ever thinks it will happen to them, but it does, and I have told many people about Alive and how it has helped me to do the unthinkable in my life.”

In her own words:

My experience with Alive occurred at a particularly difficult time in the life of my family. My mother was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma at the age of 59 and I was struggling to accept the fact that she was terminal. Hospice came into my parents' home to help her during her final days and although my father never progressed beyond the denial stage, I found them to be very helpful.

Because of their help, she was able to discuss her final wishes with me and I knew exactly what she wanted, including the dress she wanted to be buried in and where she wanted to be interred. Difficult conversations that would not have been possible without hospice.

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Pictured: Mary Margaret Formosa Lambert

 

After her death, I had a very hard time with my grief, and I read about a pilot group program that Alive was initiating for survivors other than spouses of cancer victims in 1982. I went to the first meeting, not knowing what to expect. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.

While it did not eradicate the profound grief I felt, I learned ways to handle the pain of grief and met others who were experiencing the same difficulty. In 2010, I lost my father and his wife in the Nashville flood, and once more I sought the help of Alive Hospice. They were offering counseling for those affected by the flood and I was in terrible shape emotionally. I benefited from 2 years of counseling and attribute that help to the reason I survived this unspeakable trauma.

I have been participating in the Butterfly release since it was started and find it to be very meaningful and a fitting tribute to loved ones of friends and other family members.

There is nothing that can prepare a person to say the final farewell to a loved one. No one ever thinks it will happen to them, but it does, and I have told many people about Alive and how it has helped me to do the unthinkable in my life.

I support all the good work you all do.

Thank you.

Mary Margaret Formosa Lambert

Mary Margaret Formosa Lambert is a native Nashvillian who has lived here all her life. She worked for the Diocese of Nashville and retired as Vice-Chancellor for the Diocese and Executive Assistant to Most Reverend David R. Choby, 11th Bishop of Nashville. Her newspaper column, Pinch of Faith has been published in the Tennessee Register for more than 30 years, and she has published a compilation of her articles, “Life Is Too Short To Wear Beige.”

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