Losing loved ones and gaining butterflies 110



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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

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.


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?


Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. I’ve had a similar experience with butterflies. Whenever I am in doubt about something a butterfly appears out of nowhere and I feel a lightness and clarity. I don’t pretend to understand it – it is just something I have experienced from a very young age.

  2. I have Dragon flys appear from nowhere. I believe it’s a message from my hubby up above. Also if a Wee Willy Wagtail ,( a bird) comes visiting, that’s my broinlaw coming to say hello and see how I am. One sat on the windowsill at he cremation then two months later, one sat on a branch above where granddaughter was being married. One always sits on my sisterinlaws clothes line whilst she hangs out her washing. She also reckons it’s her hubby checking up on her.

  3. Nice sentiments. I have birds every day in my garden, who leave their calling cards and make a mess all over the patio….not sure what message they’re trying to convey!

  4. I also have dragonflies appear…I think it is my late husband….also butterflies will just arrive and sit beside me.

  5. I believe it after my brother dies there was a butterfly flying around for two days and they were his favourite

  6. Mum sends me, the family and close friends feathers. They turn up in the most extraordinary places sometimes and make us laugh. I’ll have to write the story of the feathers ‘coz it all started off with a little book I was supposed to read called Jonathan Living Seagull! Our loved ones never leave us. The Love Energy is a powerful force,and I also get butterflies and birds and little dandelions flying round me. All loving sent on the force of a Love Beam.

  7. I remember at my Grandmothers funeral a blue winged butterfly came into the chapel and flew around us and at times came close to our faces then flew outside .It then gently rained.The minister was talking about how Nana loved being in the garden.Theyare special.

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