DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The release of 800 butterflies Sunday afternoon was the idea of a Dallas man who hoped to help people cope with the loss of a loved one.

The ceremony, dedicated to those who have died, took place at the Presbyterian Village North Community in North Dallas.

“Until you have lost someone close to you, you can’t truly understand what it is like,” said Godwin Dixon, who runs Faith Presbyterian Hospice.

While many people experience similar grief with the death of a close relative or friend, Dixon said often people during times of grief feel alone.

“Many times when someone has lost a loved one no one knows what to say to them and they feel isolated and they do feel alone,” he said.

This is why seven years ago he came up with the idea of bringing people, often strangers who have lost loved ones, together for a memorial service.  Each person is given a box at the ceremony.  Inside is a butterfly.  He told them Sunday the butterfly represents the person they’ve lost

At the end of the service, the nearly four hundred people in attendance released the butterflies.  Dixon said he hopes as the butterflies filled the sky, people saw that they’re not alone.

“It’s like we are all a family, honestly, said Shauna Barrett. “We may not know each other but we all have that one thing in common – that’s grief.

Barrett’s grandmother died last June after a three year battle with cancer.

“Being around other people who are in that same grief journey can be very, very helpful,” Dixon said.

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