Losing loved ones and gaining butterflies

For a long time in my life I have associated butterflies with the people I have lost over the years coming back. Friends, family members, and those special people are felt nearby whenever I see pretty fluttering wings, but it was this week that several others pointed out similar feelings making me realise my theory on butterflies was not just mine alone.

My grandmother was a botanist and zoologist, always teaching me to love and appreciate plants and animals. When she died I would find solace in the garden. I am sure I attached too much meaning to the butterflies flying around me, but through them I felt close to her again. I was pregnant when she died with my firstborn, and she never met her great grandchildren. Sometimes I imagine that she comes back as the butterflies flying around my kids in the garden, taking a look at them and how they are going. Maybe I am a little too idealistic in my view, but the stories of others this week made me see how they too see life in the butterflies. It made me want to talk about it here and see who else has stories of losing loved ones and gaining butterflies.

One of my dear friends said goodbye to her mother this week, a couple of days later, she was in her laundry when a butterfly appeared in the room, caught flying around and around her. She didn’t know how it had got in… but it had. All the doors and windows were shut.   It was a pretty butterfly and it certainly got her thinking. She thought perhaps it was her mother popping in to say things are okay and that she could let her go, having watched her struggle for such a long time

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One of our Starts at 60 community team, Karen, lost a friend last week to whom she was very close. During the week she wrote on Facebook of this butterfly hanging around her home all day one day. She felt the beauty and warmth could have been that of her friend.

And when my husband lost his godfather several years ago to cancer complications, his godmother was tells of a beautiful blue butterfly that visited her in the garden. In fact, she knew how much he loved these butterflies when he was alive, and gave us one, mounted, in his memory for our shelves. It sits in our “special cabinet”.

I am not a huge believer in the paranormal, or even in reincarnation, but in our office this week we had plenty of discussion about After Death Communication when exploring my butterfly theory. There are numerous paranormal websites that speak about communications from the other side. I prefer to think of it as a bit of a beautiful mystery, clouded in the love for the person we lost that a paranormal moment. There has been a few stories about butterflies above, all of which were told to me by women. In contrast, some of the men in our family have another story.

Many years ago, my father in law and his friends went through the deaths of a couple of dear friends over a short period of time. One of the group was a keen fisherman. Each time in his grief he would set of camping and fishing alone in the bush. He tells a story that on each trip he sat in his boat, alone, fishing. And in all the peaceful time he spent, he caught nothing but a single sole fish.   It happened three times, not long after each death of a friend.

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And so today I want to hear your stories of losing friends and gaining butterflies and other mysterious instances.  Have you had an experience you can share?