“Walter and I were married 49 years; very happily married,” Annie Carter wistfully relates, her voice breaking and tears escaping, one by one, from her eyes. “Wally’s cancer went away, returned, then metastasized one year ago. That’s when Hospice of the North Coast staff came in. They have never left our side.
“I’m so grateful to our R.N., who took wonderful care of my husband and my entire family. Twenty-four hours from the end, she had the courage and compassion to tell me, ‘It’s time.’
“Since then, my emotions have been all over the map. The H.O.P.E. Bereavement staff have walked the walk with us, and I am so grateful.
“I came to HNC’s May butterfly release intending NOT to participate because I haven’t been ready to say goodbye. I’d planned to say, ‘Don’t give me a butterfly. Give me a caterpillar. I don’t want to release my husband from my life.’
“Now that I’m here, I realize that, as our R.N. told me last year, ‘It’s time.’ I am not releasing my love for him or my memories of him. Walter will always be in my heart.
“Thanks to HNC, I am at peace.”