Butterflies & Transcendence.

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 2.0
Shares 0.0
Hearts 0.0
Comments 10
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 0.0
0 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.
8
1.6k

“How does one become a butterfly?” she asked pensively.

Orange Butterfly: “You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”

~ Trina Paulus

When I received a phone call telling me that my father had committed suicide, I hit the floor—both figuratively and literally. It is devastating news when someone passes, but a suicide is especially hard to deal with.

Thank goodness I can not predict the future, because If I had known what the next few years had in store for me, I’m sure I would have given up right then and there.

Instead, I somehow found the strength and courage to get up off of the floor that day and on the many days following his death. It wasn’t always pretty or consistent, and much of it I did for my children and husband who needed me, but I did get up.

Grief is such a personal process to go through for each individual. When we get bad news—life altering news—such as finding out about a loved one’s death, there is no way to tell how we will react, but in my experience, we will and do find ways of coping with our loss.

Somehow, we seem to embrace what it is deep inside of each of us that will help us to survive a loss. These tools that we carry at the core of our beings help us to maneuver our way through the unthinkable situations which are put before us in life.

Sometimes these tools are used consciously and sometimes unconsciously.

But, each and every one of us has an outlet of some sorts.

For me it was writing—lots and lots of writing. I have always written, but for a couple of years, I focused mainly on my father and my feelings surrounding his death.

Some of the stories and poems were very gloomy and morbid, but others were so hopeful that I wonder how I created them in that time when everything was so shaded in darkness.

I have always associated butterflies with my father since he passed. I know that this is not uncommon as butterflies are magical and beautiful creatures that have transformed themselves from another life form—from a caterpillar into a butterfly.

Butterflies can also travel thousands of miles on their migratory path, much as I can imagine a soul might do after it has passed from this earth. And they seem so free and beautiful as they flutter about in the air—something I have always wanted to do myself! (Not to mention that some species help in the life cycle of flowers through pollination.)

I have found countless poems, stories and quotes regarding the two subjects of both death and butterflies. Here is one of my favorites:

“The caterpillar dies so the butterfly could be born. And, yet, the caterpillar lives in the butterfly and they are but one. So, when I die, it will be that I have been transformed from the caterpillar of earth to the butterfly of the universe.”

~  John Harricharan

The following poem is one of mine, that I wrote in honor of my father’s memory. I hope it will bring peace to another person who is trying to ‘get up and stay up off of the floor’ after a loss of their loved one . . .

Heavenly Butterflies

Gorgeous lives go flying by

Into deep blue azure skies

 

Exquisite wings, so decorated

Each one should be celebrated

For its beauty, strength and might

To see such splendor taking flight

Watching them brings much delight

And takes the soul to higher heights

 

So wondrous and free they are

If only they could reach the stars

Then those night lights in the sky

Would be bejeweled with butterflies

What a sight for all to see

Wings lit up like Tiffany

 

Do you ever take the place

Of these creatures with such grace?

 

{If so, someday I’ll meet you there

Where we will be so blessed to share

Ascending through sweet air of blue

Goodbyes erased I’ll fly with you}

 

Want 15 free additional reads weekly, just our best?

Get our weekly newsletter.

 Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: Bryonie Wise

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 2.0
Shares 0.0
Hearts 0.0
Comments 10
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 0.0
0 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.
8
1.6k

Read The Best Articles of December
You voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares.
CLICK TO SEE WHO WON

Laura Kutney

Laura Kutney resides in Northern California with her true-love of 23 years. She is the grateful mom of three incredible children ages 17, 19 and 21.

She finds inspiration for her writing in just about everyone she knows and in all that she does.

She is passionate about her family, pets, writing, philosophy, nature, good friends, art, books, and photography.

She is driven by truth and the belief that apathy is the single most deadly weapon of mass destruction.

She enjoys writing poetry, short stories, and research based articles about anything and everything that moves her heart.

You can find her on Mosaic Commons, here, on the elephant journal as an author, and Twitter.

You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

anonymous Jun 22, 2015 11:08pm

wow ive made it through my brothers suicide which left me an only child an now my 21 yr old son an after my son i know there is a piece of my heart missing my children made it whole now its broken god bless.

    anonymous Sep 22, 2015 3:19pm

    I wish you the very best and many healing wishes. Please stay strong, and by this, I don't mean "don't cry". Instead, I mean to honor all of your emotions in which ever way feels the best, as long as they do not lead you down a destructive path. Lots of love, Laura

anonymous Dec 30, 2013 5:03pm

Laura,

Thank you for an insightful article ; grief is a difficult topic, and your open hearted sharing is touching.

Now, I'm inspired to look up poetry about butterflies and death.

Keith
http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/12/transforma

    anonymous Jan 24, 2014 1:28pm

    Keith, I just now saw your comment. Sorry it took me so long. Glad you liked my article as much as I liked yours! Keep on writing! xo, Laura

anonymous Dec 15, 2013 5:52pm

Thank you. My father also took his life and writing was my only solace, as well and continues to be. I will be saving your poem.

    anonymous Dec 16, 2013 2:00am

    I am truly sorry about your father. It pains me that anyone else has had to go through this. I have more poems/writing on this subject here and on FB if you click the link at the end of the article. Thank you for the great compliment of saving my poem. xo, Laura

anonymous Dec 15, 2013 12:55pm

This is beautiful—and so are you.

    anonymous Dec 16, 2013 1:57am

    Thank you Jennifer. I think you are beautiful. xo, Laura