DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — People gathered at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton campus to remember their loved ones in a very unique way.

Around 1:45 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19, families came together to honor and respect the memory of their loved ones who have died. Saturday was the second year of the Celebrating Life’s Stories® Butterfly Release.

Families were able to purchase a butterfly for $15 in advanced. After a 1:30 p.m. program, families that purchased the butterflies had the opportunity to release the butterflies at either the campus or somewhere off-site.

The real butterflies had been in triangular boxes on ice, and had been sleeping for a few days.

“It’s very meaningful, because there are processes through the stages of grief, and like with the butterfly, the process, the transformation of the butterfly are parallel, and so, it’s part of the process,” said Jill Lewis, development director, Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. “It’s very cathartic and free to release the butterfly.”

About 400 people were expected, but around 800 butterflies were scheduled to be released.