Steps of Hope 2024

June 13, 2024, Steps of Hope

Steps of Hope 2024

On Sunday, June 9, 2024, Gilchrist presented its 9th Annual Steps of Hope: A Tribute Walk at Cromwell Valley Park. This touching event welcomed over 500 attendees to honor their loved ones and find solace in the beauty of nature.

When participants arrived, they were given memory badges with photographs of their loved ones. The atmosphere was thoughtful and uplifting as Gilchrist’s music therapists performed and speakers shared meaningful reflections and readings. Many families wore matching T-shirts with their loved ones’ pictures, a testament to the bonds that endure through loss.

The walk itself was a path of quiet reflection. Signs along the way offered words of encouragement, reminding participants to be gentle with themselves and to pause often. Memory flags lined the trail, and people stopped to take pictures and share stories of their loved ones, creating a moving tapestry of remembrance. Walking quietly and slowly through nature provided a space to think about their loved ones and reflect on how their lives had been changed by their loss. The sights, smells, and sounds of the landscape grounded participants in the present, offering a sense of peace amidst their grief.

The event concluded with a special ritual highlighting the connections between those present and those remembered. Participants created a butterfly garden, placing butterflies in decorated vases when their loved one’s name was read aloud.

What We Can Learn

Steps of Hope was designed to harness the healing power of nature, providing a space to reflect on loss and find a sense of community, even while apart. The event exemplifies how nature can support our emotional well-being and help us take our own “steps of hope.”

Why Steps of Hope Brings Healing

Steps of Hope has become a cherished event that the community looks forward to each year. It offers healing through:

Presence in Nature: Being together in nature, surrounded by something larger than our grief, provides a sense of calm during times of deep pain.

Comfort of the Outdoors: Nature’s comforting presence soothes our hearts.

Healing Music: Beautiful, soothing music unites us in our brokenness and hopes for the future.

Positive Action: Walking actively honors our loved ones and ourselves, providing a sense of purpose and control during a difficult time.

To learn more about Gilchrist’s grief and bereavement groups, visit:

One thought on “Steps of Hope 2024

  1. Maud Halluday says:

    That was such a lovely event honoring all you passed

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