” A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam
And for a brief moment its glory
and beauty belong to our world
But then it flies again
And though we wish it could have stayed…
We feel lucky to have seen it”.
Author Unknown

 

Many mother’s and father’s who have experienced the death of a child, seem to have an affinity for certain creatures in nature. I have seen many examples of women who feel the presence of their child in a nearby visiting butterfly. I feel that way too. Sometimes, the way these little winged beauties find you, over and over, becomes uncanny. You begin to wonder, have there always been this many butterflies? Or am I just noticing them more? Either way, it is comforting. To think of your child as this beautiful being, or to think of them sending you this small gift, can sometimes make the difference between a hard day, and a good one.

I have also read accounts by parents who see birds as visitors sent to them by their child. I’m not sure if it is a coincidence that both examples are those of creatures with wings, but it stands to reason that creatures who can fly would seem more significant. Significant because they can make the journey into the sky, the same journey that babies make when they leave this earth.

What other ordinary things are significant to grieving families? I often wonder this. Some things that I have come up with are below but please send me a note or comment on this post with your ideas, I’d love to hear what other people think.

  • Wind- Sometimes, when the wind blows the right way, I find myself thinking “Ok Jack I hear you”.
  • Wind Chimes- Something about them, I don’t know what exactly, just makes me think of Jack. I found a special wind chime that I gave to my husband Dustin in honor of Jack’s due date. It has a little boy riding a tire swing at the top of it.
  • Angel statues Really, anything angels. Ever since Jack died, angel items have a way of finding me. One such example is when I went to a garage sale with friends. I found a pretty gold angel ornament holding a green crystal heart which is Jacks birthstone. I took it to buy it and I explained to the woman that I had just lost my baby and this reminded me of him. She said to me “I bought that ornament in honor of my special baby girl too. She was born and died in May. I buy two of every angel I see, one for home and one for her grave”. She then proceeded to give me the a second of the same ornament she had. She told me to take them, no charge.
  • Rain- When it rains, I automatically think that the world is crying for all of the babies who are lost each day.
  • Butterflies/Dragonflies/Birds- All of these are beautiful in their own right and for reasons illustrated earlier, are significant.
  • Frogs and Toads- Every time I see a toad, I always think of Jack. We were planning to do his bedroom in a pond theme and now, when I see pond creatures, that is what I think of.

In short, I suppose it goes without saying that when you suffer such a loss, you take comfort where you can find it. And you have an appreciation for the precious fragility of life in a way that many cannot understand. So if you see me standing still on a spring day, looking at nothing, don’t worry. I am probably just enjoying one of my moments appreciating one of those things that Jack has sent to me.

~EH

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