Make no mistake, Amy Zell wanted people to come to Trumbull County LOSS’s first butterfly release
event, but the “exciting” turnout of about 40 people also is a reason to be sad, she said.
“That means there’s a lot of suicides,” said Ella Davensizer of Brookfield, who was remembering her
husband, James, who died 13 years ago, and her daughter, Jamie Kratochvil, who died 12 years ago.
Suicide is not a subject that many people invite as a conversation topic, but Steven Neral of Brookfield
said that is changing.
“People aren’t afraid anymore, like they used to be,” said Neral, Zell’s ex-husband and father of their son,
Tyler, who died in 2009. “It’s something that’s talked about more than it was. It’s good to see.”
The butterfly release was held Sept. 25 on the green in Brookfield Center, the first of what Zell said she
hopes becomes an annual event that moves throughout the county, year after year.
“It means a lot to me that you’re here,” Zell told the crowd. “It means a lot to me that we get to do this
The butterfly symbolizes transformation, joy and inspiration.
“It means different things to different people,” said Zell, of Brookfield. “We want to let everybody choose
their individual meaning for the butterfly. There’s symbolism in the transition the butterfly goes through,
and also that it can carry a message to your person.”
Brandy Poynter of Warren came to remember her dad, Carl, who died three years ago, and her ex-girlfriend, Katie, who died five years ago. She said she had never attended anything like this before.
“It’s something new, and I thought I’d celebrate their life,” she said, adding that she hoped joy would be
the overwhelming emotion she would experience.
“It’s cool to see other people come and do what we’re doing,” she said.
Representatives of Trumbull County LOSS and Help Network of Northeast Ohio talked about their
services, and things that those impacted by suicide can do to heal and learn to move on.
“We do have some great resources, but we need more,” Zell said. “We’re here to help be the more.”
The ceremony also included a reading of names of those who had died by suicide, and a poem.
Rhonda Oliver of Garrettsville, who was remembering her son, Brian Sole, who died six years ago at age
24, cried at the release of the butterflies, but there were tears of happiness mixed in with the ones of
“This is fabulous,” she said. “It’s healing.
Trumbull County LOSS support group for people who have lost someone to suicide, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 14,
First Baptist Church of Hubbard, 59 Orchard Ave.
Survivors of Suicide Loss 10-week support group, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Fridays, beginning Oct. 15, at
the Brookfield Township Administration Building, 6844 Strimbu Drive.
To register or for information, call Zell at 330-506-1232 or email to email@example.com