A beautiful butterfly goodbye….

Shortly before Passover, my friend Darren from Levitt-Weinstein called me, to ask me to sing for a Memorial Service for a client.  I thought he was asking me to officiate, but when I spoke with the daughter, she told me she had a friend that was officiating, but that her Mom absolutely loved music, and they wanted someone to play guitar and sing at the Memorial Service.  So, I thought it would still be a good idea to speak with the person officiating, and miraculously, Karen Roebard came crashing into my life.  The minute I first spoke with Karen, we knew we were both traveling a very similar path in life, and had so much in common.  Coming from the Berkley renewal movement, which I am SO interested in, we were similar, but different, yet the combination was magical.

Karen lived in the same building as Bunny, and while she didn’t know her well, she was meant to be in that space, in that way, because nobody could have done a better job than Karen at leading this beautiful memorial.  Bunny’s family wanted nothing to do with a funeral, but only to celebrate Bunny’s life, at the place she loved the most, in a way only Bunny would create – at the beach, with music all around.  And, that’s what we did.

We stood at the deck on the beach just north of Embassy Suites in Deerfield, and everyone shared their memories of Bunny.  In the background, I played soft guitar notes, as everyone shared their thoughts.  But what made this a really amazing experience, was that at the end of the service, her daughters had bought special butterflies to release in her honor.  So suddenly, we were all standing in a circle, and let our butterflies go into the air, and it was a beautiful way to remember Bunny.

People always say “I’m sorry” when I tell them I officiated or sang at a funeral or a memorial service.  I’m not sorry at all.  It is the greatest priviledge to bring comfort to people and their families, at their deepest moments of sadness.  If my presence, my words, or my music can bring healing to a person in need, then I am anything but sorry.  I am deeply honored.

Bunny, I am sure you were an amazing woman, and you left an incredible legacy on this earth.  We know you were with us on that beach deck, and that you are taking care of those beautiful butterflies.  May your memory be for a blessing..

B’Shalom,

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Debbi Ballard

Cantor Debbi brings warmth. passion, and an infectious smile to her ceremonies, serving Jewish-Interfaith couples and families for all of your Jewish lifecycle events in Florida, and around the world. For weddings, baby namings, Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs and spiritual worship needs, Cantor Debbi works personally with each family – no rules, just right!

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