Family

Butterflies and Those Tiny Reminders

Cabbage White from Canva

Cabbage White from Canva

I saw my first butterfly of the year yesterday. A sign that summer is on its way, but also a reminder for me of my husband – who died nearly two years ago now – and how life changes.

Butterflies are seen as a symbol of reincarnation, rebirth and renewal because of the way they transform themselves from tiny caterpillars, then through the chrysalis stage to a delicate flying being.

When Roger died, I always wondered if I’d experience anything that felt like a sign that he was still around. In the weeks after his death, every time I went out into our garden there were one or two cabbage white butterflies flying around and they always made me smile and wonder if that was my sign. I knew it probably wasn’t, but I liked to think that maybe it was, if you know what I mean, in the way that we often look for things where we want to see them.

In the months before his death we had our own caterpillars at home which we watched transform into butterflies, setting them free at the end of May outside Roger’s room at Wirral St John’s Hospice, where he was being looked after. I remember as we tried to set them free the weather was slightly too cold for them to want to fly away, so we had to coax them out, holding them in our hands before practically forcing them out into the world.

Family with butterflies

Looking at the photo of that day now (above) we kind of look pretty together and like a normal family. Flo looks tiny and Sam had had a particularly bad haircut, but it’s a snapshot of that day and a lovely memory from the hospice.

I think what I’m trying to say is that every time I see a white butterfly now I think about that and probably always will. I sometimes stop and say ‘look, there’s daddy!’ before realising the kids probably think I’ve got a screw loose somewhere.

As for signs, as time passes I get more of a sense that Rog is still around me and when things are going badly and then suddenly sort themselves out, I wonder whether there’s a guardian angel there looking down on me. What I think it’s more likely to be is just that new perspective you have on things after loss, and that connection with someone that will never go away.

I think we’ll try some more butterflies this year, maybe when we get back from our holiday so they’re not left fending for themselves in an empty house!

I’ll keep you updated on that plan.

x Julia

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Mini Travellers
    May 12, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    I love that butterflies are that memory for you, what a special thing. Miss you xx

  • Reply
    Nicole - Tales from Mamaville
    May 13, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    This post made me smile for so many reasons…
    Strange as it may sound, I have the SAME connection with butterflies – they are THAT SIGN and always make me remember my fiance who passed away nine years back… at that time, I was devastated (it was an accident, just three months before our wedding) and after months of grieving the ONLY thing that made me smile and find a purpose to go on was the butterfly sign (I know you’ll understand). Even I instantly felt warm and looked after when I spotted butterflies in RANDOM places after his passing… like he was around and watching over me…

    Now, almost a decade later, married and with a son, I’m content… and these signs (although few and far between) still bring a smile to my face… like your post has done. This post is also a sign for me:) Thank you and wish you all the best always.
    #blogcrush

  • Reply
    Helena
    May 14, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    I’ve always loved the butterfly seeing it as a sign similar to that of a dove. I’m sorry to read of your loss. #BlogCrush

  • Reply
    Notmyyearoff
    May 15, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    I think it’s lovely that you have this special sign and I do think you can feel their presence and even have meaningful dreams about people who have passed. When my grandma died I dreamt about her a lot and one time she kept telling me “3”…I had no idea what it meant and still don’t but it does make me wonder even now what it could be.

  • Reply
    Caro | The Twinkle Diaries
    May 15, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    I don’t think you’ve got a screw loose, looking for a sign pet. I think we all do it, to some extent, don’t we? It’s natural to want to take comfort from things and, to be honest, the butterfly is such a magical little creature. I can totally see why you think of Rog when they’re nearby xxx
    Caro | The Twinkle Diaries recently posted…A night at the Bath Spa HotelMy Profile

  • Reply
    Lucy At Home
    May 16, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    Oh what a difficult time to have to pass through. I think it’s important to have signs, because they give us hope and reminder us of the happy times that happened in the past, and also the ones that are still written for us in our future. #blogcrush

  • Reply
    Anne
    May 18, 2017 at 10:54 am

    It’s lovely that you take comfort from butterflies, I do hope you manage to do the same this year. Butterflies live a very short life and I believe they are there to remind us of how short life really is. Losing Rog has made you realise that too, so it’s no surprise that butterflies remind you of him. We have to live for the day, just like the butterflies do. xx
    Anne recently posted…Toys for Your Garden this SummerMy Profile

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