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Inspirational Stories

Stories Contributed by Our Visitors:
July 2003 to December 2003
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Debra, Garland, TX
My brother died in August last year. He committed suicide. He was very depressed. My brother loved to travel to Mexico and see the Monarch butterflies gather. He loved butterflies, he loved all creatures. My brother just wanted to be free, he felt so restricted to this earth, and was unhappy here. A couple of months ago, my mother told me she was sitting in her back yard and noticed the biggest butterfly she had ever seen. It had a heart shape on its wings. She even took a picture of it with a digital camera. It was amazing. I have been trying to find out about this butterfly. I have searched, and can not find this butterfly to exist. My mother felt it was a sign from my brother. That he was free, and that he loved her. I too got a sign on Christmas Eve. A Christmas song came on the radio, and I thought of my brother, wishing he was with me and my family on Christmas. Then a shooting star shot horizontaly in front of my car. This happened at dawn. It was amazing. Thanks for letting me tell my story. I would like to know if anyone knows about a moth or butterfly that has a big heart shape on its wings.
Angie Crissman, Cocoa, FL
On May 10th of 2003 I buried my four year old son, Ethan. His coffin was covered with flowers. As the service was going on at the cemetary I was sitting in the front row and all of a sudden these two beautiful and huge butterflies touched down on the casket. You could hear 400 people gasp as they lost their breath. And as quick as they were there they were gone. I have come to find out since then that they were Swallowtails...probably a male and female. They were gorgeous. Black and yellow and so big!

Whenever I am down, which is a lot lately I ask Ethan to send me a butterfly...and by the end of the day I always get one...usually more...and mostly monarchs. My little boy was amazing and taken way too soon, I miss him with every inch of my being and I will never be the same. He missed out on meeting his little brother and I missed out on his life...but his mission was accomplished and it was time for him to go. Now my newest son has a personal and very special guardian Angel who sends us butterflies to make me smile.

Angie--- Mom to Ethan....forever four
Sam Smith, Jacksonville, TX
A few months ago, I told my butterfly story and of my ministry called "The Butterfly Ministry". I am sending you a poem which is the lyrics to my song entitled "The Master's Butterfly". I pray that it inspires those who read it. This web site is a God send to many bereaved people, especially parents. God bless you.

The Master's Butterfly

She said, "Daddy can you tell me
Why it is that we all have to die."
I sat her on my knee and held her oh so tight
And wiped the tears from both our eyes
Then I told her a story that my Momma told to me
That all these years has helped me to get by
She told me, "What the caterpillar calls the end of the world
The Master calls a butterfly".

Her son says, "Momma can you tell me,
Why it is that we all have to die."
She holds him tenderly as tears swell up inside
And her heart begins to fly
"Let me tell you a story that my daddy told to me
When I was just about your size
He told me, 'What the caterpillar calls the end of the world
The Master calls a butterfly'".

Remember Jesus promises through Him we never die
You are the Master's butterfly
We are the Master's butterflies

Sam Smith
[My thanks to Richard Bach]
J. P., Ashford, Kent, England
We lost our grandaughter aged 17 in March 2002, so Christmas is not quite the joy it was. Dec 7th 2003, we had not put up the decorations, there was no special feel. I was talking on the phone to a friend when a butterfly flew in front of my face. Somewhat suprised as it was December, I went to let it out of the window as it was a beautiful day. I thought better of this as it was very cold outside. It stayed on the sunny windowsill all day. I was of the impression, butterflies only lived one day, so was non plussed to see it alive and well on the Monday. There was no food as I have no flowers, maybe a drop of honey would suffice? I put it on a lid with a drop of water, placed it near where the butterfly was sunning itself and left it. Next day there were tiny honey footprints on the window pane. Honey must be acceptable. Come the evening, it flew around the room making big swoops from one side to the other. When it landed, it was obvious that it was sticky and fluffy. Honey must be messy.

Wednesday, when it flew around in the evening, I was again concerned that it had not eaten. This time I mixed a little sugar with a drop of hot water to make a syrup. I offered a drop on the lid, it turned straight away and drank whilst I held the lid. I felt so priveleged. I am 67 and nothing like this had ever happened before. I have continued to feed it and it has even been on my hand to feed. I have taken photos of it. It is still alive today Thurs 18th Dec. I have now put some decorations up, as I feel my grand daughter was saying, "Come on, where are the decorations", as she loved Christmas and all the colour and fun.
Casie Compton, Leesville, LA
I am a 24 year old wife with a beautiful son...but don't let me get ahead of myself here. When I was 3 years old, my mom and dad took myself and my siblings to a local river to swim. Everyone but my father returned home. His drowning has affected every aspect of my life as you surely know. He was a tall handsome man with red hair and beard.

When I was 18 I met a wonderful redheaded man who made me his wife and gave me a son who looks exactly like my father did when he was small. For my 22nd birthday, my husband took me to a tattoo parlour. I decided on a small butterfly to rest underneath my bellybutton to represent the beauty of growing a child in my belly. He came into our lives from a cocoon(my womb), to be born into a beautiful perfect child.

When he was about one and a half I had him out in the baby pool in the beautiful sun talking to him about the clouds in the sky and how beautiful heaven will be..and a Monarch flew right to his shoulder and "kissed" his cheek. We both laughed about it and eventually went inside. A few moments later my mother called and I could tell something was bothering her. To cheer her up, I told her about Tanner's run-in with a Monarch and the kiss. She began to cry and told me that day was the anniversary of my dad's passing, and that when she was waiting for the ambulance at the river that day, there were several Monarchs fluttering around and to keep us calm..she pointed them out to us and we all smiled through tears.
Paulette Sanchez, TX
Our dear and beautiful friend, singer-songwriter-musician Cindy Terry passed away Oct. 28, 2003 (www.cindyterry.com). The night of her passing I dreamt of her. In the dream, her friends had gathered to say goodbye to her, and in the dream, she was present and happy to have her friends together. At one point she came to me and said "let's not fight anymore" as three years ago I had voiced my personal disatisfaction regarding a personal matter (which I apologized for 2 years ago - Thank God). I replied and said "oh no, of course not" and she gave me one of those loving ugs she was so famous for. Then she put a bag in front of me, full of boxes, and cheerfully said "pick one". She wanted to give everyone a gift. Then later, I saw a Christmas tree in the house and a very large butterfly ornament almost to the top.

My dream came to pass. This past Saturday, Dec. 6th, I was invited to one of her friend's house along with a few others. I noticed the hostess had a stack of decorative boxes in a corner, and she had all her Christmas trimmings displayed including her tree. During our visit, we discussed our friend, and the hostess said "she gave us all a gift"...meaning her love; Cindy was very giving and very loving. The hostess had not heard of my dream as of then. As I was leaving I told one of my friends, this is just like my dream, except the butterfly is missing. She said, very quietly, "no, the butterfly is here". She said, "it's out in my truck." She took me outside to show me a beautful ceramic figurine with two monarch butterflies. Apparently my friend had been given this gift to forward to someone else from our friend Cindy.

I recounted both stories to another friend...she had had a butterfly experience before that night. She had gone shopping and encountered several butterfly displays. In the middle of one of them was a flute charm...that was Cindy's main instrument. That same night, I ran into a friend at a bookstore and told him the stories. Just days before, he had opened a gift; it was an origami box he had received two weeks earlier, but had not opened (it was too pretty to disturb). When he finally did, it was full of butterflies. I know I will hear more stories about the butterflies. I believe Cindy is letting us know that she is with us. And this is her way of showing her love to us. We love her, and we miss her.
Morris Bagnall, London, UK
Looking at environmental responsibility...from a different angle.


“Order! Order! This meeting has been called to ask a question fundamental to our way of life: should we continue to fly? It has been brought to our attention over the past few weeks that a consequence of our constant desire, no, need to fly is widespread environmental disasters and I believe it is now time for us to consider alternative modes of transportation.”

“What! Like walking you mean”? came a youthful, dissenting voice from the assembled crowd. The outburst was met by a series of chuckles, guffaws and, mostly from the elderly members, disgruntled huffs of annoyance at such ‘impertinence’.

He let the hilarity run its course as he knew it would. Everyone assembled recognised that this was a matter about which there was little to laugh about but a moment of light relief was always welcome in a tense situation. “Now then” he said in a ‘headmaster with an appreciation of humour’ manner, “that’s not adding anything to the need to reach a solution is it? We’ve yet to explore, in detail, the alternatives on offer but you can rest assured that we will in due course. As I was saying, the evidence…”

“What evidence? I haven’t seen any evidence. And who says it’s right anyway”? A female voice cut his sentence short with its high pitched, somewhat frantic delivery, yet they all knew it was vocalising a thought going through many of the assembled minds at that point.

“Please be calm, your anguish will not help matters” he almost pleaded. He had expected a whole range of reactions, anger, fear, resolve, surrender and yet he hadn’t been prepared for the terror barely concealed in her voice. What came to him later was the understanding that it was an inherent maternal instinct that drove this venting of feelings, she was telling him and everyone else that she felt impotent as a mother and that she worried not for herself but for her family and future generations.

At that moment though he knew that what he said from here on would determine the fate of his own and of countless others he would never meet. “I can assure you all that world experts have been looking at the available data for longer than any of us has lived and they have determined that every single flight we make no matter how short has the potential to cause chaos in parts of the world we have never heard of and have no hope of visiting”

“Not if we can’t fly anymore we haven’t” said an aged Admiral in the front. His slow, careful enunciation of each word carried with it the weight and impact such as he had been shouting down a megaphone into a baby’s ear not six inches away. There was no laughter, save for some nervous, choked chuckles from a few who had no control over such emotion. Heads nodded in agreement, in a manner that showed respect for the speaker and the words he had chosen. Brief exchanges between adjacent listeners, where normally barely audible, knit together to form a hum that moved in waves across the assembly like a swarm of bees moving to and fro over their nest.

“My dear, dear friends I understand your concerns and share in your uncertainty about the future. In my youth I flew to the far corners of the kingdom, enjoyed sights and smells I could not have dreamt possible. I tasted the nectars found in those far flung destinations and returned to be able to tell of my adventures to my children (and repeat them time and time again I’m sure to which they would no doubt testify in exasperation)”. He scanned the crowd, the older ones in particular who might share in this experience so many had yet to come of age to and reassuringly he saw his own weak smile reflected in their faces. “I know that what I ask of you will change your lives in ways as yet unimaginable. I am sure that to some of you this will seem like a step back to an earlier stage in our evolution but we cannot and must not think like that. We have a duty to adapt to the circumstances in which we find ourselves and adapt we can and will. I could not go on living the way we do with the burden of the knowledge that somewhere someone is suffering terribly because of my actions; I ask COULD YOU”?

Heads dropped in the crowd; he could hear muted sobbing and unrestrained crying from more directions than he would care to remember but he knew he must remain strong for their sake and he stood as upright as he was able, grasped the makeshift lectern and spoke as a leader needs to in desperate times:

“Go back to your homes and spread the word: from this day forward my friends not a single butterfly will flap their wings again. No longer will we carry the burden of contributing to the chaos and the disasters that befall the world we share with other living beings. We will do our part; let us hope that others do theirs”.

THE END (let's hope not!) "
Gwen, Hartselle, AL
About a year and a half ago, my mother passed away, very unexpectedly. I was totally in shock, losing my mother at the age of 30 was not something that I ever thought would happen or even thought about it really, just so much like a lot of people I know. The day we were at the cemetary burying her, I was having a very hard time dealing with putting her in the ground and I was sobbing. Out from nowhere, three of the prettiest yellow butterflies that I had ever laid eyes on come sweeping by my face and touched one of the teardrops streaming down my face and hovered over my head for several seconds. Up until that day I had never seen such unique butterflies. I felt as if it was my mother. It was like she came to dry my tears and to tell me to be happy.

For the next month I saw little yellow butterflies everywhere I went. It truly was my "saving grace." The next spring, the same time one year later that we put my mother in the ground, to my surprise, these little yellow butterflies started appearing again...all around me everywhere I went and there has not been one time that I have seen one and it hasn't put the biggest smile on my face ever.
Jacqueline Da Silva, Sydney, NWS, Australia
Today I found a beautiful butterfly but it had a broken wing. So my little brother and I made a lovely home for it. We put some lovely flowers and leaves in it a shell with water in it ome gravel and a stone so it can see its entire home. Every day after school we pick some fresh flowers and in the morning I put some cool water in the shell for the day. I keep it next to the BBQ. I have put some holes throw the lid so it can breath I keep it wehre the sun can't get to it much. I keep it safe so birds can't eat it. When I was little my dad used to call me a butterfly as well as a snail so when ever I look at the butterfly it reminds me of dad calling me one.

Adelaide, South Australia
I first became interested in butterflies while attending a group for women who had or were living in domestic violence situations, this group was called butterflies! Butterflies symbolise freedom for me and it was through participating in this group that I was able to flee with my three children from the violent marriage I had been in for 17 years. Since separating with my husband 18 months ago butterflies have played a huge part in my life. I have surrounded myself with them, pictures, ornaments, stickers, jewellery, doona covers, clothes, anything and everything to do with butterflies. These beautiful creatures remind me every moment of every day that I too can be free! I can aspire to break out of my cocoon (the safe place I have made for myself) and become a beautiful butterfly and be the me that I was always meant to be!

P.S. even my 9 year old son, Blake, loves butterflies and wants butterfly stickers for Christmas!

Shaylyn.......I'll be a beautiful butterfly, please wait for me.....
Ridgely Goldsborough, FL
Slow down and smile.

Camille, Linus and I met baby Lindsey in the pool a few days ago. She frolicked and splashed about in her floating seahorse in the shallow end.

I could tell from the almond shape and slight redness around her eyes that Lindsey suffered from Down’s Syndrome, a difficult condition fraught with ongoing physical challenges. Lindsey had already endured a number of heart and other surgeries, her first at barely three months of age.

Despite the obstacles, Lindsey’s bright smile and youthful zeal revealed a young girl enjoying the whims of toddler-hood.

Her mother shared with me that she and her husband consciously chose to bring Lindsey into the world, with full knowledge of her condition. She lovingly expressed her surprise at the blessings Lindsey gave her family, the closeness that stemmed from the operations, the celebration at each small victory. A first step, a first word, meant so much.

They would never worry if Lindsey didn’t make honor roll, or compete for student council or top-of-the-class. To them, if she could learn enough words to speak her mind, that would be an extraordinary success, and every milestone along the path, no matter how small, marked a huge triumph. “She is our greatest treasure,” she said.

Talk about perspective. Nowadays, we take too much for granted. We neglect the tiny moments of beauty that surround us everywhere, too caught up in the crisis du jour to notice smells, sights and sounds—the magnificent daily unfoldings.

What have you overlooked today?
Sheena Amst, Plymouth, WI
September of 2000 took an unexpected turn on my high school experience. I was getting ready to go out for homecoming and was given the news that one of my upperclassmen friends, Steve, had taken his own life. The night was horrible and the next day even worse. Everyone that knew Steve left school the next day because sitting in class was unbearable. It was a cold, dreary day. We all decided to go to a friend's house and hang out together and talk about good times and bad times to help each other through the pain of our loss. When I arrived there that morning, I saw a beautiful Monarch butterfly that fluttered around continuously off and on throughout the day. The afternoon went on, and before I left, about 6 hours later, I saw the same butterfly again. That was the first time I had encountered the butterfly.

One year later, at a church ceremony for Steve, everyone was given a purple flower to place on Steve's grave. I placed my flower on his grave and took a step back. As I stepped back, another Monarch butterfly landed on my flower. It proudly displayed its wings for a moment before flying away. I immediately started to cry, but out of happiness because I knew at that moment that Steve was free.
Lisa, Emmaus, PA
During my pregnancy with my first child, I was extremely stressed out most of the nine months. However, on one particular occasion I was having a really bad day. It was midway through September and I was food shopping. As I approached the rear of the store I happened to look up and see a butterfly flying around the store. It pleased me to see such a beautiful thing flying around me. It made me smile and gave me a feeling of hope that someone was looking out for me.
Catherine, Dublin, Ireland
On the 15th of September this year, my dad passed away. As you can guess my family and I were all very distressed. His funeral was a few days later. After the funeral mass the morning coach drove by my house. I looked at the house to see a butterfly on the letter box of the front door, it was a red admiral. I thought this was a bit strange and later my aunt told me that in some religions the butterfly was a sign of the soul. Anyway the next day the curtains were still closed in the house and my mother looked at the window to see shadows of three butterflies.

In October myself my brother and my mam were in Wexford for a weekend. My mother woke up before me and was down stairs. When I woke up I could hear a fluttering noise at the window I looked to see three red admirals. I called my mam and my brother to have a look. My mam thought it very uncanny that butterflies were still around in October but that there were three. One for me, one for my brother and one for her.

I have a question if any one can answer it for me. Is it weird to see butterflies in October?
Lenore, Patchogue, NY
My mom passed away on 6/2/03. I was very close to her. My husband and I were at the cemetery that day, I always talk to my mom when I go there. This day I told her to give me some kind of sign to let me know that she is at peace and that she would watch over her family. When we were about to leave, we turned to walk away, when a beautiful monarch butterfly brushed my right shoulder and flew right in front of us. As we walked the butterfly was in front of us all the way to the car, and flew around us, then flew away. I knew that was a sign from my mom, letting me know that she heard me. That was her way of telling me that she was at peace.
Odree Merl Marie M. Padios, Bacolod, Negros Occidental, Philippines
Every one of us is experiencing ups and downs. As growing person specifically a teenager, I am passing a lot of trials and wretchedness in life. Well, I can say that butterflies had inspired me the most while I'm still striving hard to attain my goals in life. We know that butterflies are first a caterpillar. Caterpillars die first in order to develop into beautiful and colorful butterflies. It is like saying that everyone of us has the capacity to strive hard and stand whatever mistakes we had pass through, hence, it will serve as a challenge in us. Like a butterfly, there's still a new life and bright tomorrow waiting for me.
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Well you see my friend Peri passed on from a car accident. She went to my camp and everyone knew her. Every year with camp we go on a trip to North Carolina. Peri could not wait to go. She died on July 3, 2003. She didn't make it to North Carolina. But somehow I feel she did. My sisters would always see this yellow butterfly every single day. They would always say "oh that's Peri". One of my sisters saw the butterfly dead behind their cabin. She ran and told her friends. She was crying. Peri's parents went on a show with this guy who can hear from dead people. So Peri said to this guy "I am going to send my sister butterflies". When my sisters heard this they started crying. The butterfly was Peri! So now we get so excited when we see a butterfly because we know that it is Peri sayin hi to us!!!

*In loving memory~ Peri Brittney Laguna*
Port Deposit, MD
This summer, my family and friends were shocked by the death of a dear friend's father. We had known him and his son for 5-7 years and had become very close friends. After his dad died, my friend had to move to Texas. The weekend before he had to move, my friend sang a song "I Can Only Imagine" at a church outdoor service. While she was singing, a blue butterfly landed on her shoulder. She did not realize it and only one other person in the congregation saw it. Later we found out that the deceased friend's favorite color was blue. Now, everytime we go out somewhere we see blue butterflies! We believe it was a sign from God.

Phillipians 4:13 - I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me
Dee Cannon, Nassau, NY
Our mother passed away in June of 1999. We buried her on a stormy afternoon, but the sun reappeared at dusk and, while sitting on my brother's porch with my small nephew, a lovely butterfly appeared out of nowhere and circled my nephew's head. He asked if that was "grandma" and I replied with "Yes, I am sure of it. She is reassuring us".

In the years since, butterflies have appeared to me at the most interesting times (when I was thinking of mom, when I needed reassurance, etc.)

This past August, my sister was visiting from the west coast. We only see one another every few years and we are the only 2 girls in a family of 6. We were both very close to mom. On the morning after she arrived, while sitting in my sun porch, not one but TWO blue butterflies appeared INSIDE the porch ... another sign from mom. She was glad we were together. On the evening BEFORE she left, we encountered a "perfect", but dead butterfly in the parking lot of a restaurant!

Butterflies are VERY special to me .. they carry our mom's spirit and signal us in miraculous ways.
Cara, St. Cloud, MN
My father passed away about 6 months ago...it was April 25th 2003. He was only 46, he had a massive heart attack at work and the hospital was not able to revive him.

My father and I had a rocky relationship at times, but once I turned 18 and was officially considered an adult by his standards everything was pretty good. He lived out of state...my parents were divorced. We stayed in contact through email and telephone. Things were better than they'd ever been.... I had ny daddy back and I felt like he loved and respected me more than ever before.

One day I was at work, we'd been having some problems with my younger sister, experimenting with drugs and stuff. It's a long story but my dad and I had a major falling out. The conversation ended with me giving him an ultimatum and him making the wrong decision out of anger. That was the last conversation I ever had with my father. The morning of the 25th of April when my sister called me at work and all she could say was "dad's dead" between the sobbing. For a moment time stood still and I felt like someone had taken all of my breath away. I remember all these thoughts going through my head so fast that I could not even keep track of what they were. I kept telling myself that it was a dream and that he was only 46....it could not have been him.

I immediately began my grieving process. The mode began as self pity going towards a downward spiral and ended up being a revelation of sorts, a growing period, a time of forgiveness and family and most importantly a time of acceptance and coming to terms with the choices I had made. For the first couple of weeks I really believed that my father died thinking that I did not love him and that was so far from the truth because I loved him so much and I was so hurt that I could not be a forgiving person and that my stubborness had gotten the best of me and taught me the worst lesson that I cold have learned. I bought a book on how to deal with the loss of a parent and although the stories were not completely the same as mine, I learned a lot about how other people dealt with situations and it helped me figure out how to deal with mine and come away from this believing that not only had I forgiven myself, but my father had forgiven me and not right before he died or after, but many years ago.
Allison, Gregory, MI
My son died August 7, 2003, a week before my birthday. I was 22 weeks pregnant. We spent the weekend at Lake Michigan and got home Sunday night. Monday morning I felt tired all day around noon, then started to have contractions. I drove myself to my inlaws' house. My daughter was waiting for me. My water broke at 4.00pm. I called my husband to come home, we have to go to the hospital. Things did not look good for my son . Tthe doctors tried to stop the labor (BIRTH). We were so scared. I gave birth Wednesday at 5.00am. He weighed 1lb, he was so tiny. He looked just like his dad. His eyes were closed. He took a big deep breath in my arms. At 7.00am his heart stopped beating. My husband and I were devastated and our hearts were broken. Our dreams are shattered. I feel like I let my husband down again. Four years ago I had a miscarriage. We found out we were having a boy. After my miscarriage we had a beautiful girl. I dont know how to tell her about the deaths of her brothers. God bless my little angels. I know God is taking good care of them.
Nancy Bombero Berntsen, Shelton, CT
Fascination with Butterflies

Long ago, when I was 10, my mom gave me some seed beads, wire and a tattered piece of newsprint with handwriting on it. These were the very instructions for copying my great grandmother's Victorian butterfly pin.

It was love at first sight! Soon I experimented with patterns and new colors. Eventually, a friend challenged me to design smaller butterflies for earrings and hair pieces. In seemingly no time, I created adorable little ones. I decided to publish the instructions so others could enjoy creating Awesome Beaded Butterflies too!

Butterflies are particularly special to me. What wondrous creatures real butterflies are, how they were designed and created. Metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly reminds me of a process I went through in life.

As I grew from childhood to adolescence, I discovered new stresses in life. I also sensed a deadness within me. Spiritually, I felt about as pleasing to God as the inside of a pasty caterpillar pupa would be to me. I needed a change.

Mid-summer, 1971, at age 13, I was unusually motivated to read my Bible and learn how to get closer to God. I discovered how and why I should ask Jesus to forgive my sins and to be Lord and Master of my life. One very special day that August, I experienced His forgiveness and renewal in my life. Through his Holy Spirit, I knew I had become brand new spiritually from the inside out, just as a caterpillar transforms miraculously from a worm into a beautiful butterfly.
Roland Bilancho, Grantham, PA
When I was a small boy I remember sitting in a field and asking my grandfather what the difference was between a moth and a butterfly. He thought for a moment, and then he said "I don't know..." To me, it came as a terrible shock to realize that he did not know everything as I had always believed. I started to cry, and he tried to comfort me. At that moment a moth flew up and landed on my arm, as if it, too, was comforting me. Then I realized, they are both beautiful and mystical creatures. Please, don't discriminate against moths as if they are "lesser creatures" than butterflies. In truth they are the same, despite the way that movies like "the Mothman Prophecy" may portray them. To this day, when I see my grandfather we both look at one another, and say "moth", and smile.
Celena, Firestone, CO
I noticed my love for butterflies when I visited a local pavilion. Butterflies have made my life less stressful since I have had a lot of troubles. I love to be outside in the summer and go hiking and everywhere! When you think about them you know it is great to be alive.
Tressa, Westlake, CA
About a month before my graduation from high school my friend was hit and killed by a drunk driver. It was a horrible experience knowing what an amazing girl she was. Nicole was 17, and the nicest sweetest girl you could imagine. She was more than an inspiration, we have all named her "an angel that walked among us". That's really the best way to describe her. So a little after her death I was feeling horrible and wanted to go somewhere to talk with her. She was a track runner so I went to the school track knowing she has run there millions of times. While I was running I started to cry and looked down at the ground. I saw by my shadow a butterfly running/flying with me. It continued following me for an entire lap around the track. I know it was her!!! She was telling me to be strong and reminding me that she was and always will be there. I went and got a butterfly tattoo on my foot a few months later to always remember her.
Randie Modin, Cordova, TN
It all began when I lost my grandparents in '97. My grandfather passed away in February and 6 months later my grandma passed. My mom and I went to visit their gravesite and of course I was sobbing and suddenly a beautiful butterfly appeared. It seemed to be out of nowhere. I just looked up at it and began to smile. I honestly felt that it was a sign. I thought to myself that everything is o.k. That my grandparents were in a much better place and not to be sad, because I have got wonderful memories of times that I have spent with them. So now everytime I see a butterfly I just look up and say Hi to my grandparents and think everthing is going to be o.k.

I got married in May 2001, and since my grandparents were not able to attend in person, I had butterflies shipped to my wedding place the night before and had all the ladies at my reception release the butterfly that was given to them. Needless to say, I felt like everyone got to witness the wonderful, exciting feeling that I once experienced.
Lisa, Sioux Falls, SD
I for the first time in my 41 long years of life got the opportunity to raise monarch butterflies from the egg stage. I had purchased the seed called butterfly weed about 3 years ago and it comes back every year. Bigger and better that is. And for the first time a female monarch had laid eggs upon the leaves. Well weeks later I had noticed holes in the leaves and so when the sun was going down I went searching for caterpillars. Boy was that a mistake. I had found tons of them, yes tons - we're talking of 30 caterpillars. Eggs were everywhere as well. So I thought well here's an opportunity to have fun. I took them in, gathered clippings from my butterfly weed (which is a relative to the milkweed) and put them into a huge tub and put a screen over the top. I cleaned the tub daily cause do they ever relieve themselves quite regularly.

We watched them grow from this tiny little caterpillar to this enormous eating vulture. My gosh do they eat a lot in their final moments. I got the pleasure to see the "J" form and then I caught on tape the most rewarding event in a caterpillar's stage-chrysalis stage. That is so awesome. My kids and yes my doubting husband all took part in this wonderful event. I had thirty + critters from the egg stage all the way to the chrysalis stage. We waited for about 14 days after their going into the chrysalis stage and watched these beautiful creatures emerge from the shell. Was that breathtaking. We took many pictures. I showed my daughters the difference between the males and the females. They got the pleasure of releasing them back into the wild. What a memory we all will have. I hope you all do as well. Try it but don't take on so many. You could do this forever. It's fun. I now take part in volunteering at our butterfly house here in Sioux Falls, called the Sertoma Butterfly house. Look us up or come and visit, it's a great place to hang out.

Enjoy the flying flowers that inhabit your world.
Sinead, Santa Clara, CA
Just finding this site alone makes me very happy. My father died three and a half months ago on June 11th 2003. He died at the early age of 60. He had been sick for some time and fought very hard to the end. He died very peacefully with all his family present. He deserved that. I miss him very much indeed. I miss his laughter and his smile. He was a very simple man who got the greatest thrills out of life's most simple things. He loved nature and was forever plodding around his garden and planting flowers.

I got married 2 weeks ago - 3 months after he died. I was dreading the day as I knew it would be very hard indeed for me and my mom. I had asked my dad for a sign on the day just to let me know he was with me. I did not know what sign I was looking for so I decided not to look too hard. The day went beautifully and I found strength I never knew existed.

We had our wedding speeches and I even made a speech. I wasn't going to but I wanted to thank my mom and my dad personally. My speech went flawlessly. I couldnt believe I did not cry. In fact I did not shed a tear all day long.

During the evening one of my guests approached my husband and told him a story of how a red admiral butterfly had been seen on the day of his friend's wedding shortly after the groom's father had died. He told my husband this because during our speeches he saw a butterfly fly up and down behind the table where the wedding party sat. My husband relayed this to me that night and I started to cry. This I believed was my sign.

I spoke to some guests that evening and told them about this butterfly story. Another guest told me how she had seen a butterfly in the church before I walked up the aisle. I was amazed.

The next morning I met a friend of mine who stayed in the hotel the night of the wedding. She told me a butterfly was in her bedroom that night. At this stage it seemed to me there were too many coincidences.

The next day, before I went on my honeymoon my brother pointed out a butterfly to me in the garden. I watched it fly around for a while and then saw it land on a flower. For some reason I was instinctively drawn to this. I put my finger down and the butterfly went onto it. I was amazed. It stayed for a while and I got a picture of it. This was definitely my sign. Thanks Dad
Jamye, Arlington, TX
I am so shocked to find this website with all these stories that are similiar to mine. I thought (and my friends and family will attest) that I was going a little nuts. See, when my grandmother passed, I was standing out in the yard after her funeral, so deeply saddened by her loss and not knowing at the time how I could make it in this life without her funny, loving presence when a butterfly flew down and landed on my check as if it were giving me a kiss. Now up until then I had admired butterflies and had been excited to occasionally see one and now just about everywhere I go I am surrounded by at least one, sometimes more and I find them in the strangest places. I had a feeling that it might be her and now maybe my aunt had joined with her to let me know they are free and are still watching over me but in the back of my mind I also thought those thoughts were just a little kooky. When I would speak to my friends about this and believe me it took awhile for me to say something about this, they would nod their heads politely and slowly walk away. I plan on letting them all know about this website and ask them to read a few of these wonderful confirming stories. Now I don't feel so all alone about this and the next time a butterfly lands at my feet and stares at me for awhile, I will take comfort even more so.
Shirley, Kansas City, MO
Hello, I have always loved Butterflies. They are so pretty and delicate and of course the transformation they do has always amazed me. Anyway on to my story...

I was working and was under a stressful time in my life and going home from work there was a butterfly on the side of the road acting stunned or something. I picked up the butterfly and put it on the side of the grass. So several weeks later I was working outdoors and to my amazement this monarch fluttered by me and landed on my smock and just fluttered for a few seconds and then flew off. I have always felt this was that butterfly thanking me somehow. And then I told my sister about this and she told me that the butterfly was a sign of the Holy Spirit, so from then on I have had more love for them and grow all I can to get more in my yard. I also have another butterfly story that I will share later.
Debbie Guillot, Baton Rouge, LA
I have written my story here before, but as it continues, I feel I must write it again. My mom died on April 30th, 2003. I had gotten a Calla Lily plant from my grandmother's funeral in 1996. I am sure that it was blooming when I got it, but after that it did not bloom ONCE in the 7 years afterwards. My mom was buried on May 3rd, 2003. Returning home after the grave-side services, I was so very down, empty, alone, and devestated. I was walking from the kitchen to the living room and happened to look at the plant that I had gotten from my grandmothers funeral. Remember the one that hadn't bloomed in 7 years? To my UTTER AMAZEMENT that plant had a very tall very BEAUTIFUL flower standing straight up. I KNEW that it was from my mom. Since that bloom, I have received many more on that same plant. In fact, it is now nearly the end of September and I have not been without a flower on that plant since her funeral. Every time one bloom starts dying, another one sprouts up. In fact, I had 3 flowers on the plant at one time. So when you lose someone, look around, they may be leaving you signs. Even if you don't get one, from all of the stories told here, PROVES that our loved ones are in Heaven STILL loving and watching over us, doesn't it?

I love my mom and miss her so very much. But I do find some comfort in the gift that she has been sending me for all of these months, the beautiful blooms. Ma, I will ALWAYS miss you and the love that I have for you will never fade away. I am looking forward to the glorious day that I will see you again. Thank you for letting me know that you are at peace, and are here with me. I will ALWAYS treasure my flowers from you to me. And Ma, I WILL FOREVER LOVE YOU AND HOLD YOU CLOSE TO MY HEART.
Love, Debbie
Lori Singer, Anaheim, CA
I was going through a very difficult time in my life a few years ago! I was a single mother at 20 years old and the father had been out of our life for about 7 months until one day he called from jail! He was looking at a lot of time! I love this man and I was going through different emotions as to whether I move on or not! I was at rock bottom struggling with depression and the weight of being a young mother all by myself.

To make a long story short...one day on the way to work I was thinking about everything and convencing myself I had to move on to better myself as well as my son's life. As I pulled up to a red light on the street a butterfly fluttered in front of my car window! I admired it since I already thought they were so beautiful! That day to work, every red light I stopped at a butterfly (not sure if it was the same one) would flutter in front of my car windshield! I started taking a real interest in butterflies soon after that and found this to be a sign! Life drifted back into a black hole for me and I still could not get over my son's father!

A few months later I was trying to determine again whether I wanted to live my life waiting for my son's father to get out or move on! Again...on the way to work (same rountine/streets) the same thing happened and I took that as a sign that God was telling me to move on! A butterfly symbolizes change and becoming something new and free - after that I got a tattoo of a butterfly to remind me that through my pain I could still let go and be free! Everytime I see one I stop and admire its presence and I feel a sense of peace in my heart and soul!
Diane, Escondido, CA
Our mother/Nana passed away January 17th 2003. The loss of her has been extremely difficult on all of us. I was and my children were very very close to her. Mom lived with us for 22 years after my father died at an early age of 53. She helped raise our kids and brought such love and happiness in our family. She was a happy person and always made everyone want to be around her. We were all blessed to have her in our lives.

A month ago I prayed to God and asked to please let me know that my Mother is ok. We miss her so much. I haven't been coping very well with her loss and it seems to be getting worse, rather than better.

A few days went by and I had noticed a Yellow Tiger Swallowtail butterfly, not thinking anything about it, I just thought it was pretty and went on about my day.

Then I started thinking. The next day I sat outside with my husband before leaving for work and the butterfly appeared again. Another day my son drove up our road and the butterfly appeared again and followed him. He of course only laughed at me. Well the same butterfly continues to appear everytime I think about my Mom. When I go out into her garden it follows me and stays for awhile and then flies away.

Today my daughter came for dinner and asked me about the butterfly. I said we can try and go outside and see if it will appear. Shelley and I went outside, my husband was BBQ-ing, my son and future son-in-law were there, and sure enough up over the hill and right to us came this incredible butterfly. My daughter began to cry. I said I believe this is Nana's Spirit coming to say she is fine and happy and wants us to be happy and enjoy life like she did and to know that we will all be together again. It's all in God's beautiful plan. The butterfly flew away so gracefully.

My brother called me from 50 miles away. He said he has seen the same type of butterfly each time he goes outside for the past month, also. He didn't think anything about it until I told him about our experience.

I never knew the butterfly had helped so many people through a difficult time. I do believe that if we listen with our hearts, God answers our prayers, we just have to open our eyes and ears.
Dr. Sammy Smith, Jacksonville, TX
My daughter, Stacey, was killed in a car wreck in 1988. [Interestingly, her birthday is September 8 - the first story on your web site was about a man who died on September 8. I love the way God reminds us that what seems to be coincidences are seldom coincidental.]

A few months before Stacey's death, I had read "Illusions" by Richard Bach. One of my favorite lines in his book was, "What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly." I had that phrase inscripted on Stacey's monument.

A few years later, we adopted another daughter, Kathryn. One day as I was talking to her about Stacey, I was inspired to write a song that I entitled "The Master's Butterfly". It is a song about a parent explaining God's plan of eternal life through Jesus to their child. Since Stacey's death, I have had more butterfly experiences than I can tell, and everytime my wife or I see a butterfly, we naturally think of Stacey.

I later recorded a C.D. entitled "Master's Butterfly" and established a music ministry that I call the "Butterfly Ministry."

I was thrilled to find your web site and to see that so many people are influenced by the beauty of the butterfly, and the way the butterfly represents Christ's victory over death for all mankind. Nature has so many ways of reminding us of God's perfect love, and His perfect plan for us.

God bless you, Sam Smith
Tim, Asheville, NC
While working outside at The Billy Graham training center a butterfly or moth hit my hand. It flew to the ground and to my amazement I saw a perfect cross on its back. The folding of the moth's wings formed the long section of the cross and the back of the wings formed the cross-piece of the cross. I believe God sent me a message since I have been considering entering the Ministry as a Pastor. I felt so inadequate to do this type of work. As I thought of this encounter for the next few days, the Lord seem to be saying to me "Even as insignificant as this insect is it can still carry the message of The Cross, and you can too." I read a verse from the Bible later which said "If anyone will come after me let him/her deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.

It so amazes me that God can use the simple things in life to make such profound statements. He speaks so very often in the still quiet voice if we only listen.
Michelle Lucas, Cumming, GA
Hello, I'm a school teacher in Cumming, Georgia with a very strong affinity for butterflies. This affinity is for good reason, for they are not only beautiful, but free in flight and spirit.

This summer I went to McDonald's for lunch one day and noticed, quite accidentially, a gorgeous yellow and black butterfly clipped to a clip board and hanging on the wall of the kitchen from a distance. I could not believe it was a real butterfly. I just assumed it was plastic, believing that NOBODY would ever just clip a butterfly to a board like that. I was wrong, however, and realized the butterfly was alive and missing part of a wing! I asked immediately for a staff member to show me the board. As I examined the gorgeous butterfly my heart sank. I knew right away that it was still barely alive. As I looked at the butterfly one of the staff members hurried over and ripped the butterfly off of the clip board and threw it into the trash. I got so upset! How could anyone throw something so beautiful into a garbage can?!

I demanded right away that the butterfly be put into my hands and said I would take care of it. I held the butterfly gently as it died and I laid it outside under a quiet, soft bush to rest peacefully. I cried just out of the blatant display of disrespect for Life and nature, in general by that staff at McDonald's.

Yes, I did cry that day and did witness an abuse of nature. But, do you know what?! Every single day a gorgeous black and yellow butterfly flutters by me and I get to remember the cycle of Life. It shows up a different place everyday. But it is beautiful, it is gentle, and it flies freely everyday of its Life. Which is all I want ... to see butterflies flying freely admist their beauty. Thank God for them.
Bernadette Torres, Philadelphia, PA
It was an afternoon unlike any other in my life. True, it sounds a bit too profound for my encounter. I was on the way up to my bedroom on the second floor of my home, and I just happened to look out the window in my hall, which faces my backyard. Right there on the ground in a pile of new dirt my husband laid the previous day, was this huge beautiful butterfly. Oddly enough I thought it was some sort of "lawn ornament" my husband bought. He buys me butterfly and dragonfly ornaments for my garden. He knows how much I love these beautiful creatures.

I tried to look carefully and still I thought it was fake. I ran down the stairs frantically and out my back door, and there he was the most beautiful thing created (what i think it to be) A Yellow Tiger Swallowtail. Right there in person (or in butterfly) in front of my face. He was magnificent!!!! I ran in the house quickly to grab my camera and ran back out as to not miss this creature!!!! He allowed me to snap 5 or 6 photos and just danced around me in between pictures.

The thing that captured my heart most of all is that this wonderous creature stopped a couple of times and actually LANDED right in my hand. Without any fear or any reservation...just sat there, flew around came back and landed in my hand. He did this a couple of times as if he were just as interested in me as I was of him!!! I felt such an inner peace...almost as if this little thing knew that was exactly what I needed to start the passion I now have.
Victoria Pemberton, Winchester, Hampshire, UK
My sixteen year old daughter, Alexandra, died suddenly and tragically on the 1st July 1997. Her remains are buried at Magdalen Cemetery just outside of Winchester, which is actually situated on Magdalen Down (chalk hill). The area is particularly beautiful Hampshire chalk downland and next to the cemetery is a butterfly sanctuary.

Alex's stone bears the following:-

Alexandra Victoria Jane PEMBERTON
18th February 1981 - 1st July 1997
The angels loaned you to us for 16 years, truly blessing our lives, then you left us in summer, bringing our winter

I visit the cemetery once a week and on a recent visit I was feeling very down and fed-up when suddenly a beautiful red and purple butterfly settled on Alex's gravestone. I watched it for what seemed like an eternity and when it finally did flutter off the stone, it stayed with me for ages, going from plant to plant and remaining in my vicinity.

When it eventually flew away, I felt sad but also uplifted and stunned by it's beauty. It almost felt as though Alex's soul had paid me a visit.
Karyl Chastain Beal, Pavo, GA
The Red Butterfly
August 7, 2000

Shortly after noon, I went into Arlyn's bedroom to get a few things to take with me. I was preparing to drive about three miles out into the country, to Woodhaven Road.

I stood and gazed around her room for a few minutes; it was full of Arlyn, but it seemed so empty.

I picked up a folder with some of the poems she had written. Her words. Her thoughts. Her feelings.

I held it under my arm securely while I searched for something else. A Cabbage Patch doll, the dress she was christened in, a blue ribbon she had won for baking a sponge cake when she was ten years old. They were all things that meant something to Arlyn, but I left them alone.

In moving my hands across the top of her dresser, I knocked over a small picture frame. I stood it upright; it held a photo of Arlyn with bright red hair and a happy grin. She was three years old when I had made the Raggedy Ann costume using a mop for a wig. She had flopped around the house for days practicing a Raggedy Ann walk. I smiled at the memory and picked it up to take with me. This was all I needed.

I got into the car, checking to make sure I had not forgotten to put the lawn chair in the trunk. Then slowly, I drove three miles out to the country to a place that drew me to it with an awful, yet irresistable force. To a place on Woodhaven Road.

A few minutes later, I parked the car beside a small stream. I checked my watch; I was early. The rickety wooden bridge which crossed the stream seemed to blend in with the trees and undergrowth surrounding it. There were no other man-made structures in sight.

My eyes tried to follow several small yellow butterflies as they bobbed up and down in this otherwise still picture. I placed the lawn chair on the side of the narrow dirt road. a few feet from the two wooden crosses that announced to the world that this was a place where a death had occurred.

I held on to the folder of writings and the small framed photo as I sat heavily down in the chair. I suddenly realized that I had placed the chair on the exact spot where my daughter's body had fallen when her life stopped. I briefly stiffened and thought about moving, but then, I didn't. A morbid need to connect wtih her held me there.

I opened the folder and picked up a sheet of paper with Arlyn's handwriting on it. I read:

"The scent of death
Surrounds me
And I am overwhelmed
By it's beauty."

I shook my head; I could not understand.

It was terribly hot, much like it was the day Arlyn died. I sat quiety wondering what she had thought during those final moments, wondering if she has been afraid, wondering.

I looked down and continued to read. I felt a dull pain in my chest. Her hands had written the words I was staring at, but her heart had felt them.

After a while, I looked up and stared at the yellow butterflies blankly. Then, I glanced at my watch and saw that it was almost - that time. If Arlyn's spirit was to come, it would be now.

So I began to talk. At first, I spoke casually. "How are you doing, Arlyn? What's it like up there? Are you with Mammaw and Grandpap and Lori? Have you played your guitar for them?"

I waited, but Arlyn did not reply.

I felt myself growing more anxious, so I began to ask harder questions, pausing after each to listen for a reply.

"Arlyn, do you miss us? When you pulled the trigger, did you have any idea of how badly your death would hurt your dad and me? Did you know how much I loved you?"

Then, as a post-script, I asked her if she'd seen her young cousin, Adam, who was killed the day before, and I asked her to take Adam under her wings.

Again, I closed my eyes and waited. And waited.

Nothing happened. I felt so sad. Finally, I decided I had to try one more time to persuade Arlyn to reply. I would ask for a sign that she was here. She'd been gone four years; I had waited long enough.

I opened my eyes and looked around. As I searched for a sign, I realized I would not know a sign if I saw one. What does a sign look like? Is it a blinking light? A crash of thunder? The image of a face in the clouds? What would I look for?

Then, I spotted two yellow butterflies in the woods behind the crosses. This type of butterfly is common in south Georgia at this time of year. It seems that they only come in yellow. I glanced down at the Raggedy Ann photo that was smiling up with me. The red mop wig almost looked like wings surrounding her face.

I smiled to myself then, and I spoke loudly into the trees. I said, "Arlyn, if you hear me, I need a sign! Will you send me a sign to let me know you're okay? Will you send me a red butterfly if you know how much I love you and how badly I miss you? A red butterfly, Arlyn. Please."

By then, the tears spilling down my cheeks were making their own small stream. I closed my eyes. I felt the stillness, until a cool breeze brushed past. I shivered.

When I opened my eyes again, I saw the two crosses still standing in front of me. The only thing different was that the yellow butterflies in the woods behind them had left.

I signed. I was so disappointed that I had just passed another milestone date without a sign from Arlyn. I felt myself sinking.

I was a reluctant traveler on this road. Sometimes, it seemed too hard to go on. Sometimes, I wanted to give up and join her. I missed her so much.

A moment or so later, I caught a red flicker in the corner of my eye to the right, over the stream. I turned and saw a large red butterfly come up from under the bridge. Slowly, it flew towards me, bobbing up and down as if it were on a sea of gently rippling water.

As the butterfly flew closer, I held my breath. The trees behind it faded out, creating a hazy background, accenting the brightness of its red wings.

To my amazement, it fluttered close to me. Then, it flew all the way around the two crosses that bore Arlyn's name. Not once but twice. Twice, the red butterfly encircled those crosses while I sat there spellbound, so close I could have touched it.

It hovered a moment, and then it swooped through the air, heading off into the woods behind the crosses and out of sight.

Was it a coincidence that the red butterfly just happened to fly by as I was hoping for a sign from Arlyn? Was it really a sign from her? If it was a sign, what did it mean?

I do not know if it was a coincidence or not; I have visited the place on Woodhaven Road many times in the past four years. The only butterflies I remember seeing there before were yellow.

A sign is something that may suggest the presence of someone who is missing. To me, that butterfly was a sign from Arlyn, because there is no logical explanation for its appearance otherwise. So, what does it mean?

I believe it was a sign that the spirit lives on after death, and that the soul of my precious Arlyn is at peace. I believe the red butterfly was Arlyn's way of letting me know that she knows the depth of my love for her, and the pain of my sadness. I also believe that she sent me this sign so I would know that she is with me always.

This knowledge does not erase the fact I miss her, but it does help me move into the future. I feel an inner calmness that was missing before. I believe I have a mission to accomplish while I am here, so I now understand that the spirit of my child will provide the wings to lift me up.

Most important, though, the red butterfly proved to me that love is eternal. It does not die when the body dies. Hearts and souls that are joined on earth are united forever.
Christina M. Tyler, Altus, OK
On my birthday, May 1, 2003, I had my birthday party in the mountains here in Oklahoma called Quartz Mountain. This was my first birthday I have spent with my biological father. My father and I went on a trail that led down to a pond where we saw a Monarch being attacked by a duck. I quickly got the duck's attention so the monarch could get away. Instead, the monarch stayed on my shirt the rest of the night. I love butterflies so I took him home with me and I named him Smiley because he made me smile a lot. I went to the store to get him some flowers so he could eat. I started to cry because he wouldn't move. I had noticed earlier that the duck had torn his wing. I knew he was going to pass soon so I stayed by his side until that moment when he did not move anymore and he was so stiff. I then gathered all the flowers that I bought him and put them in a beautiful box and laid him on top. I said a few words and thanked him for coming into my life. Then I put him at rest. The significance of this moment is the fact that a butterfly was always with me when I was upset about not finding my father. I remember on all my birthdays I would wish to meet my father. Well, on this birthday, I got my wish. I believe that the monarch symbolizes something important. Thank you.
Sherry, Nescopeck, PA
Hi! My name is Sherry, and this is my 3rd year with Monarch Butterflies. At present I have about 28 in different stages. My husband and I go out, and bring in milkweed that have either eggs or larvae on it and place it in a net-covered wire pet cage. The reason we do this is to try to eliminate as many as we can from being infected with parasites. Some are already infected when I bring them in, but I don't know it until I realize they aren't forming in the normal way. I lost 2 in the last 2 days. It bothers me a lot, but I don't know how to help them at this point. We planted milkweed next to our patio, so as soon as we find anything on those leaves, we immediatedly take them inside. Also we venture into nearby fields and bring some home. But they aren't very plentiful out there this year. Thus far 2 have successfully left our property, and they were two that we found hanging beneath our patio, already in the chryslis stage. Two others outside, turned black inside the chrysalis and died.

Well, I need to go and check on them right now, so thanks for listening, and anyone who wants to email me to talk about rearing Monarch's, please do so at seroh@epix.net

Goodbye and Happy Butterflying !
Valerie, Babylon, NY
In 1978 my Mom was stricken with Colon Cancer. Mom and I were always close. The day before my Mom died I was sitting outside talking to a friend. A butterfly kept landing on me. At the time I didn't know why. Mom passed away the next day (June 22, 1979). Ever since I see butterflies, sometimes in strange places. A couple of years ago Hubby, I and Son took a ride. We had lunch in a diner - across the street was a church. I went in and lighted a candle. When I came out to get in the car a butterfly was circling around me and my son. It lightly brushed under my chin and flew away. Another incident happened two years ago. I have a butterfly bush in my backyard. I walked outside and looked down at the patio. There was a Monarch Butterfly. It couldn't fly but was still alive (barely). I put it on the butterfly bush so that it could hopefully get some nectar. I turned my back and the butterfly landed on my shoulder and flew away. I wear a butterfly pin or necklace every day.
Nancy and John, Portland, OR
My fiance John and I were in the National Santuary of our Sorrowful Mother (the Grotto) in Portland, Oregon this summer. It was a beautiful day and as we were walking along the garden paths enjoying the beauty and serenity of this sanctified place we noticed a beam of sunlight through the giant redwood trees and something moving within that light. It was a large flock of butterflies swirling and spiraling around us. We had never seen such a beautiful sight nor a more spiritual encounter as what we witnessed. This all took place in the garden area of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. We truly felt God's beauty and witnessed His creature the butterfly in all its glory..
Leigh Klotz, McComb, MS
Six years ago I received a gift of a digital camera. Naturally, I took photographs of almost everything in sight, flowers, bees, birds, what have you. I wanted to take a photograph of a Monarch Butterfly. I haunted the pretty flowers in neighbor's and my own yard, even planted Lantanas to entice one or more. I saw other, smaller butterflys but alas, no Monarch.

Three digital cameras later, in fact just day before yesterday I walked out my kitchen door, heading for my niece's house just down the street. At the end of my driveway, just over the low fence that separates my yard from a neighbor's there is a Lantana bed. What did I see? W O W! A Monarch flitting from flower to flower.

I rushed back in my house and retrieved my digital camera. (I'm an ex-professional photographer) and began to snap photogrpahs as fast as the camera allowed.

Up loading them to my computer and into my image editor I was thrilled to find that I had several good and lots of poor shots. Now I have a framed photograph of a Monarch butterfly on my den wall.
Rachel, Glenolden, PA
My sister Colleen died in January of 2000 of Cystic fibrosis. She was a big Mariah Carey fan. Mariah loves butterflies and so did Colleen. Colleen even had a tatoo of a butterfly on her back. When Colleen passed my sister and I got butterfly tatoos in memory of her. I now see butterflies all the time. When I am in my car, looking out the window at work and even at the beach I had a butterfly land on my beach towel. My family and I feel like Colleen's spirit is with us everytime we see a butterfly.
Elizabeth, Sherman, CT
My son who I was expecting to carry the full nine months, was born when I was going into my 7th month. The doctors felt my son Jacob was in distress while he was in the womb, because he was 3 and a half weeks behind in growth. Well he was born on July 2, 2003, and died on July 3, 2003. While I was home recouperating from the emergency c-section, I was on my deck reading a book. As I was reading, a monarch butterfly landed on my shirt. I thought it was strange because I never experienced that before. After that occurred, I was watching "It's a Miracle" on TV, and they had a story on about butterflies, and what they represented after a loved one had passed on. I had a peaceful feeling come over me, that it was my beloved Jacob letting me know he was with God, and that he was fine.
Butterfly Goddess, Oakland, CA
When I was 17, I was living with my father. We lived in a 2 bedroom house, on Conncecticut Street, a cul de sac, situated in the Potrero Hill district of San Francisco.

Entering the house from the street, you walked up about 12 stairs, and made a right, an walked up another 3 stairs. Our living quarters was at the top of that staircase, and a thick brown carpet extended wall to wall excluding the kitchen.

Once in the living quarters, if you made a sharp right, you immediately entered my father's room. If you walked about 2 feet to the left, and walked straight ahead, you entered my room. If you made a left, and walked approximately 20 feet to the back of the house, you entered our kitchen. Our kitchen had a huge bay window that didn't open. It also had a door, to the back left of the kitchen that led to our sundeck, which provided a beautiful bay view.

Walking down the hallway towards the kitchen, just before you reached the kitchen, if you made a right, you entered the living room. once in the living room, an immediate left would direct you towards the sliding glass doors that also led to the sundeck. We would leave both doors open at times. The door in the kitchen, and the door in the livingroom. We could get the freshest air this way, because the windows in the bedrooms were shutter windows, and didn't provide for much air circulation.

The one shutter window in my room was the smallest window in the house. I'm not good at estimating dimensions, but I would guess that it was about 2 (width)x3(length). Again, there was a metal handle that you would pull down on to release the shutters that opened downwards towards you when you did. I rarely kept the window open.

One evening, I was dressing for bed. At that time, I had a brass daybed with a trundle underneath. It had a white frilled bed dressing fit for any princess (smile), and I made it perfectly each morning before leaving for school. So this particular evening, I was going through my regular ritual for preparing to retire for the evening, and when it was time for me to get into the bed, I pulled my bed comforter, and sheets back as usual exposing my pillow.

I immediately noticed a small white butterfly lighted gently on my pillow, but its wings flapping in almost a slow motion. I remember being very surprised, and wondering how in the world it got under my covers. Had I made it up in the bed that morning? How did it get in my room? Did it enter one of the back doors, fly down the hallway, make a left and hang out until the proper time to get in bed? So, I thought it was strange, but I just gently picked the butterfly up, and carried it to the back door, opened the door in the kitchen, and released it into the night air. I didn't bother to pay attention to it's flight direction. I slept peacefully that night.

The next night. I go through the same bedtime ritual, pull my covers back, and to my surprise, there was a small white butterfly lighted gently on my pillow, with wings flapping in an almost slow motion. At this point, I was very bewildered. Far more then the night before. I again, walked the butterfly to the back door, and released it into the night.

Next, I pulled all the bedding off of my bed, and examined the bed completely. I looked for caterpillar's, cocoon's, butterfly's etc. I found absolutely nothing! I made my bed, and retired for the night. I didn't sleep well that night. I couldn't figure out where the butterflies had come from, and how in the heck the ended up under the covers of my made bed. I also couldn't figure out how they had survived under the covers all day, and into the evening without suffication.

The 3rd night. I was going through my evening ritual, and my father's girlfriend entered the room and began talking to me. I don't remember that particular conversation, but I do remember her interrupting our conversation saying, "Dishonne, you have a butterfly on your bed"! She said it in a very surprised tone of voice. I immediately looked around, and sure enough, there was a 3rd small white butterfly lighted gently, wings flapping in an almost slow motion on top of the covers this time. I remember experiencing a sense of fear and wonder. I shared with her my experiences of the 2 nights past, and I watched as she picked up the butterfly, walked to the kitchen, and released the butterfly into the night air.

This is the story of my personal genesis. My spiritual awakening. I started digging, searching, and wanting to know everything from that day on. I began "riding the wave". My experience is as being in a canoe on the ocean. Initially, I would try to do the paddling mySELF, but over the years, I grew to allow the wave to carry me, trusting the unknown completely. Passing through past wounds, and created fears every step of the way. I pulled my oars into the canoe, relaxed, and the "magic" continues moment to moment.
Mary Claire Dansbury, Morrisville, PA
My father passed away 3 weeks ago today. His favorite spot was working on the pool for all the children to enjoy. My mother and father were married for 53 years. When he passed on it was very difficult for my mother. She is a very religious person and was having difficulties understanding and wondering if he was o.k. Last week she was sitting at the side of the pool and a dark butterfly with a little yellow on the top landed on her hand. It flew away for just a few minutes and returned to land on her knee where it stayed there for a least three minutes. This was very inspiring to her and in her 75 years she has never seen a butterfly land on anybody. This was a very heart-warming story for all of us. I'm the youngest of six children and we are all very close. This story has brought chills to all of us. We do hope this means something......
Linda, Morton, IL
As I write this story, a huge butterfly lays dead by my side. I'm sure there is a meaning, but not quite sure what it is.

When I was 15 my mother passed away. I had been at the hospital to visit her that morning, and left. They called me and my brother back late that afternoon. She was not awake so my brother left to visit a great Aunt who was also in the hospital on the same floor. As I sat there watching my mother breath, initially determined not to leave her side like my brother, I finally also left to see my Aunt, who was my God mother. I was only gone less than 5 minutes before we heard my Mother's doctor and Priest called over the intercom. It's now 32 years later....

Just last week I was talking to my brother's daughter, and she told me about something that happened to her when she was 13, or over ten years ago. She said she normally doesn't talk of it because it's so emotional for her. Her story is that one night she awoke in the middle of the night to someone in the corner of her room. She wasn't afraid of the person and in fact, thought they were quite beautiful. The next thing she knew the person was by her bedside and before disapearing, they said "don't worry, everthing will be alright". Within a week, her dad, my brother, under went a 5 artery by-pass. Soon after, her mother found an old picture of her grandmother holding her father when he was a baby. She told her mother that her Grandma Ginny was the person in her room that night.

After hearing this story, I was saddened that my mother had never contacted me... well, to my knowledge. However, my daughter who is 10 had often mentioned that she thought Grandma Ginny was watching over her. She even wrote her Grandma a letter when she was 8. Now to the point about the dead butterfly.

This was a sad day for me. I was outside in our pool and thinking about a problem regarding my career. I was so saddened I finally broke down and cried. My daughter joined me and she quickly took my mind off my problems. We began several philosophical discussions about women's intuition. During our conversation, my daughter noticed a huge butterfly on the window of the house. She ran over to it and it flew to a nearby tree. I thought out loud, maybe it's Grandma Ginny listening to us. About an hour later my daughter saw the same butterfly land in the pool. She quickly retrieved it with a net. I lowered my hand into the net and it climbed onto my hand. I had never held a butterfly before. Its wings were wet and so we took it into the sun thinking they needed to dry so it could fly. My husband came out to see what we were doing and suggested we put it on the table. I left them to check out the internet to find out if there was something we could do for it and found this web site. Within a few minutes, my husband called me to come quick... the butterfly had died.
Catherine, Sunderland, UK
I'm 16, and it was only in the past couple of weeks I've really taken an interest in butterflies. I always liked them, but I'd only ever seen those white ones with little black spots (sorry, I don't know the name). Last week, I had my breakfast in the conservatory, and a peacock settled down on the top step of the stairs leading to the garden, and I thought it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. Unfortunately, we had no film in the camera, and I had to let it go. Later, it came back, actually on the ledge of the door, but I still couldn't get a picture. I finally succeeded after about a week! It likes our garden, it keeps coming back, and I recently got a very close one, but I still have loads of film left, so it'll be a while before I see them.
Victor, Granger, NY
Hello Butterfly lovers,

My wife is dressing up our yard and has pushed hummingbird plants for a couple of years. Now we made a trip to a local garden center where they had a Butterfly house. I was amazed with the large quantity of butterflies. When we departed the house, we looked at a Butterfly plant and there were two Monarchs on a violet colored plant. We purchased a light violet plant and returned home to locate it in the back yard. We left the plant in the container and noticed several butterflies attending the new arrival. Soon we had all kinds of butterflies on the plant. We had four Monarchs in the evening and I spent most of my afternoon watching these critters. I think I'm hooked!

Thanks for nature's finest!
Denise, Sauk Rapids, MN
When my husband and I moved into our newly purchased, Victorian era home, in July of 1998, we were excited, as well as being a bit unsure of things. We were young, and had never lived far from our families, let alone moving away from everything we knew. But, here we are doing just that.

Slowly we were adjusting to our new house, but still were not feeling all too welcome in the little town which was now our home. We knew no one, and weren't related to anyone, so for us to be a part of the 'small town family' was looking pretty grim.

One day in late August, we awoke to find that our backyard had quite a few monarch butterlies. Some fluttering about and some resting on the trees. As the day progressed, we found ourselves welcoming more and more of these little friends. We stopped counting at 300. They stayed for a few days, and for a few days it didn't matter that no one in the town didn't welcome us as we hoped. We had all the peace, beauty, and company we needed. It was magical!

After living there for several more months, we contacted the previous family of our home by mail, and mentioned the tale of the butterflies. They told us that the butterflies visited them too. Every year since they purchased the home in 1935! How incredible that they would come back to the same house, every year, for so many decades...
"Freddi" Dunleavey, Highmount, NY
Six years ago this August my dear friend, Jeanette died at age 46. The last time I had seen Jeanette, I sat and gave her a foot rub and some reflexology. She had been undergoing chemotherapy and was not feeling well.

I was sitting on my deck here in the Catskills one late morning reading a book when I saw a butterfly flitting about. Somehow I knew as soon as I saw this beautiful black with white creature that it was going to "visit" me.

As I sat and waited patiently within a few seconds this butterfly landed on one of my bare feet. Over the next ten minutes or so, it continuously "kissed" my feet. First one, then the other! It flew off momentarily and then came back to me and lit upon my hand. Finally, my husband appeared and I whispered to him to get the camera. Fortunately, we did get a picture of it on my hand. I could feel that this butterfly represented Jeanette's spirit, assuring me that she was okay. This experience helped to lift a lot of grief from me and it was replaced by pure joy.

While I think of Jeanette every day, I always especially notice when there is a butterfly around, wondering.......
Michele P., Virginia Beach, VA
I have fennel and parsley planted which the black swallowtail loves. Naturally plenty of eggs are laid but because my first true love is backyard birding, all my "regular" birds know where my caterpillars are. Because of this, I've recently given away small caterpillars to co-workers who have children. The first group won the hearts of 10 year old twin boys who loved to pet them and see their "horns". They were afraid to tell their mom that the caterpillars "disappeared" as she is e xpecting a baby any day now! Once they understood the cycle and that they had crawled off to form a chrysalis, everyone was happy!

My second set of caterpillars were given away today and I can't wait to find out how well they do with a little girl who can't wait to watch nature!
Jan Cicatello, Hamburg, NY
I was visiting my brother-in-law, and we were sitting in his garage during the afternoon. I stood up to walk out of the garage, and a monarch butterfly flew in the garage. I put my hand out and it flew right to me and perched itself in the palm of my hand. I was so surprised, it just sat there. As I walked around the garage and out the door, it just sat there. After about 5 minutes or so, it just flew around me and left. My brother-in-law couldn't believe it, and neither could I. It was a wonderful experience that I'll never forget.
Angela J., Hackettstown, NJ
About a year ago I would always sit outside on nice summer days. Last summer a black and yellow butterfly would always fly by my head and follow me wherever I went. That summer wherever I went I would always see a black and yellow butterfly, it never failed. I found it very interesting. My cousin lives in Scranton, PA and she had the same thing happen to her also, only it was orange and black. We were very close to our grandparents. After they passed away we thought maybe it was them trying to say hi to us. About a week ago our grandmother's brother died and the whole way to the cemetary we saw over 30 butterflies, and when we were visiting our grandparents' grave we saw black and yellow butterflies.
Cecelia Anne, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, UK
This sonnet speaks for itself as 'The butterfly an emblem of the soul'.


With your wonder, delicate creature, you beckon me
To drift into forbidden paths that I could never climb.
My eyes can only touch upon a part of your mystery;
Your kaleidoscopic journey in a world of hidden time.
What possessions did you own in that long sleep, a mild forgetting
Of fading dreams that walked with you upon the earth.
Your young sun rose above your old sun setting,

Soaring with the freedom of your ageless golden birth.
Bursting from your silver globe, the magic of your wings
Takes you higher than what once awoke your twilight hours.
And as you rise imprinted waves of silent murmurings
Leave remembrances in quiet realms concealed by unknown powers.

Flower-bird my heart still flutters with yours in your boundless sky,

I kissed your wings with a memory when you taught my soul to fly.

22nd October 2000
Copyright © Cecelia Anne 2003
Erika Newell, Pittsburgh, PA
I found this beautiful butterfly out in the country so I caught it and I accidentally bent its wing a little and I felt bad so I kept it (hoping it would get better). It's amazing because normally butterflies don't cling to me but this butterfly stayed with me for almost 2 days. It's crazy because this butterfly clinged to. me all day and all night. It's almost as if it had a connection with me or it felt my sensitiveness and happiness and stayed with me 2 days. It would crawl up on my leg and on my neck and it could just stay there for hours. It is amazing, I felt like this inner bond with it so it survived with me for 2 days. It only died because my grandma closed the window and it suffocated. I felt so bad and I was really sad. I believe it would have lived longer if my grandma would have never shut the window on it. It survived even from transferring from the country to the city. I didn't even think it would be able to last due to the fact that were I live there's so much pollution in the city compared to the country but believe it or not it survived and lived for 2 days and I think it would have lived longer if my grandma didn't shut the window because just because its wing was slightly bent doesn't mean it wouldn't survive and while I had it I fed it pollen from flowers and gave it water and it ate the flowers and rolled its tongue out to drink the water. It was so interesting to see how a delicate creature such as a butterfly lives in the world. I felt so good just to be with that butterfly. It brought me so much joy that's why I named it Joy.

Joy-found August 2, 2003, died August 3,2003
Felicia Behm, Ferndale, WA
I have always loved butterflies. They are so beautiful. When ever I see them I always think of God and it brighten sup my day. One time I was Six Flags Marine World and I was in the Butterfly area and all these butterflies were always coming around me and it made really good pictures. Also I was wereing all butterfly clothing. That was one the funnest and best days I have ever had. I love butterflies to the extent of the earth! Thank you for letting me share my story with all of you who might read this!
Shelly Nicole, Conowingo, MD
I am 10 years old. I love to catch butterflies. Butterflies are so beautiful. The other day at my friend's house, I was catching butterflies and I found this beautiful butterfly. He was laying on his back, his wings were all torn. I put my hand out to pick him up and he clung onto my hand. I felt so sorry for him, so I decided to take him home. It was a good thing I took him home, because we had a bad storm and he was trying so hard to not blow away with the wind. He couldn't fly. He is yellow and black. My mom made a little home for him, we put flowers in so he can hold onto. He started to suck the nectar out of the flowers. I hope I can nurse this beautiful butterfly back to life and he can fly again soon. I named him Buster. He is so beautiful.
Linda Terry, Shepherdsville, KY
My 24 year old son passed away on April 26, 2003 due to cancer. I saw a story on "It's a Miracle" about the monarch butterfly, that the spirit of your lost loved one will come back in a monarch, and come to you to let you know that they are in heaven and okay. Two days before seeing "It's a Miracle" a monarch sat on my front porch all day until I went to bed. My son was a very dedicated Christian and believed that with God all things are possible. I believe this is my son's way of telling me that he is with me. I love to garden and I have always loved to have butterflies around and my son knew this.
Samantha, San Antonio, TX
Butterflies to me mean a sense of love beauty and indpendence. They represent what every woman dreams of being. Perfect in almost every way and yet seen by so little people. When I feel down and I can't seem to bring my spirits up I cry and a sense of faith that everything will be alright comes over me and then I feel butterflies in my heart and in my soul. I turn my pain and sorrow to the butterfly and then as quickly as it came it is gone. Before I ever knew what a butterfly was my dad would flutter his eyelashes across my cheek and he would tell me he was giving me butterfly kisses. It made me feel so special it is something I will never forget. The butterfly to me is not just about life after death but about now, about the lives that we live here on earth every day. Cherish the world around us and recognize the butterfly in good spirits and in bad, our lives may not be as short as the butterfly but time does fly. Too bad we all can't live to be as perfect as the butterfly.
John Penna, Piscatawy, NJ
I have recently retired from 38 years of teaching science in high school. I am in the process of enhancing my garden with a lot of different flowers and walkways. I purchased little signs which said welcome to the garden.

Two days after I put the signs out I discovered about a dozen little white butterflies gathered about one of the signs. It is as though they were happy to be welcomed into my garden. I am glad to share the story with someone who delights in the ballet of butterflies.
Cindy, Bardonia, NY
Today was the day from hell; I lost my keys, AND my pocketbook, my 3 year old daughter fell and scraped her back as I was trying to get her in her seat at a pizza parlor. My shower's tiles are falling out, and my air conditioning broke. And that was just the tip of the iceberg.

As dusk fell, and I came home weary and haggard, I decided to sit by my garden for a few minutes and relax...

Just then I saw what I thought was a hummingbird flitting from flower to flower. I have several large plantings of dahlias and the animal really seemed to like those. Now I've only seen hummingbirds a few times in my life, so this was a real treat to me! I called the kids to see it, and as we got closer, we realized that it had a large proboscis which it was inserting into the flowers and actually drinking the nectar.

It was not a hummingbird at all but a large moth, flitting and flapping its wings very very rapidly and hovering in the air, "hummingbird-like".

Then my oldest daughter noticed it had antennae, and pronounced it definitely "creepy". I disagreed, and I actually though it was really quite beautiful!

It was indeed a moth, but not like one I had ever seen or heard of. I noticed it was about the size of a hummingbird though, and even acted like one as it was flitting from flower to flower and drinking up.. It had a long body and brownish, opaque, shiny wings. It had long horned antennae and a very long proboscis. Its body though was neon green and other bright colors. I couldn't get a really close look at it, but I was amazed at how it just went about its business of drinking while we all stared in awe.

Eventually it took off, and I mean fast; this thing just all of a sudden ZOOMED to the top of a spruce tree and was gone.

When I came inside I checked it out on the internet, by doing a search of the words "hummingbird" and "moth" and sure enough, there it was! The elusive (in NY anyway!) hummingbird moth.

Strange though, because the ones that are found in NY state, are not exactly the same as the one I saw. "Mine" was much more colorful, and had a slightly longer body than most of the sphinx or hawk moths. So.. I am still a little stumped.

It was just the perfect ending to a really horrible day, and made me realize what beauties the world holds, even when things all seem lost or dreadful. I feel a real closeness to the natural world and this type of thing just fascinates and touches me in a very spiritual way. What intricate glorious beings we have all around us, if we only take the time to stop and notice, and to live in peace with them all.
Shirley W. Watertown, TN
I have always thought of a Butterfly as the beautiful story of a child's birth In the cocoon it isn;t very pretty, like a child in the womb. But then when they both are finished what a GLORIOUS AND WELCOMING "SIGHT" - SO BEAUTIFUL!
Jae, IL
My baby brother died a few years ago. I was 4 months along with my second child and my oldest was only 3 years old but he understood everything that was going on. I was sitting outside crying when my son said to me "it's ok Mommy, uncle Sean always wanted to fly with the birds and now he can." I sat there with tears in my eyes thinking about what my son just said when a butterfly landed on my leg and almost seemed to talk to me. It sat there for what felt like several minutes but it was only a few seconds. And looking at that butterfly I got the most peaceful feeling I had ever known. I believed my son was right, Sean had got his wings, colorful wings.
Peggy Winstead, Elgin, OK
My husband always loved birds and butterflies during our lifetime. However my darling husband of many years passed away in the early part of this year.

Our home sits on approximately three acres, which we always kept well-groomed. He would be on one riding mower and I would be on the other. We would pass each other, wave, smile and I could always smell his cigarette smoke. (Yes, that was one of his very few vices) So, this year, the mowing of this acreage was left to me alone. I was mowing along, crying, remembering the two of us doing this chore together and I saw the most beautiful butterfly. It followed me at each and every turn, even landing on my shoulder a couple of times. Each time it landed on my shoulder, I could strongly smell cigarette smoke, but upon looking around, could see no one. I was completely alone, with the exception of the butterfly. After I finished mowing, I decided to go to the local store and purchase a butterfly wind vane to put out by his grave, so he could "enjoy" the beautiful butterfly. The wind was blowing so very strong, so I knew that its wings would really flap. When I arrived at the cemetery and walked up to his grave, there was a half-smoked cigarette laying right by his name. There is no way that the wind could have kept from blowing it away, without some divine help to keep it on the headstone. I knew right then that both my sweet hubby and God was giving me a sign that he was OK with our Lord and was watching over me, the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. What a feeling of peace that was, even if it made my heart ache to hold my beloved once again.

So always let God guide you. Even if we don't understand, He will lead us if we only go with Him hand in hand.
Leilani, Corbett, OR
We are in the process of moving from our place of residence for the past 30 years, and, as you can imagine it has been very stressful.

Many memories have been made here and this is really a very peaceful and tranquil environment in which to raise our children....a retreat from the city, a place where hawks raise their young (another story).

A couple of days ago, we noticed a Monarch butterfly hanging around the inside of the garage and even found it on the open top drawer of my husband's tool box one evening.

Well, yesterday, all day he hung around the garage and was very content to hang on the door and a window ledge despite the chaos of the moving truck, people loading and packing.

Late last night, there he was again on the window ledge so I opened the window so he could flutter out in the morning to the closest Butterfly bush....he was still there when I checked this morning!

His wings looked pretty fragile and a little ragged, so I carried him outside to an open blooming, very fragrant rose and I thought he must be dying, so I brought him in atop the flower.

I was instantly reminded of my mother who loved roses and lived with us for a time under hospice care....she did die here and I was overcome with the feeling that somehow this butterfly was a sign from her, that, yes she was happy and that change is an inevitable fact of life...sometimes for the better!

Such peace overcame me at that moment..it was wonderful!

Not too much later a very lethargic butterfly showed some real activity, so I carried him outside and much to my surprise up over the roof and to the gardens he went.
Wendy, Olathe, KS
In 1994 my grandmother died only 2 months after being diagnosed with ALS. I had moved to her home to help care for her when her health had begun to decline only months before her diagnoses. She was 69 and lived like she was 50. She was full of hopes to travel and loved to volunteer her time to those in need. Her death was hard to accept, we all expected her to live to be a very old woman.

Being the beautiful person that she was I learned many lessons from her, including how to love others and to enjoy life. The day she died, I stepped outside the nursing home where we she had been for several weeks feeling both relief that she was no longer suffering and agony that she had left us behind. As I entered my car I noticed a monarch butterfly fluttering around my window. I watched it for a moment as it danced in front of me. It almost acted as though it had something to tell me, not wanting to leave the scene. I started my engine and backed out of my parking space to head back to my grandmother's home where the rest of the family had congregated to grieve and comfort one another.

I noticed as I began to drive through the parking lot that the butterfly was still outside my window, this time it was at my side. Was it following me? That seemed silly, but I kept an eye on it to see what it would do. Once I entered the street, my mind drifted back to my grandmother and I forgot about the butterfly for a moment or two until I had traveled a couple of miles across town. Then I was at a stop light for what seemed like an eternity when suddenly I saw it again. It was still with me. As I pulled into my grandmother's driveway the butterfly was still there. It had really followed me home. I smiled as I stepped out of the car and walked toward the front door. The butterfly followed me to the door and rested on a flower in her flower garden. I went inside the house.

Later that day I stepped outside and found the butterfly still on the same flower, it was dying, it was barely moving. I picked it up and held it in my hand. Its wings barely moving, I took it inside the house and placed it in a wooden bowl.

I still have this butterfly 9 years later. I don't know what it all means, but it made me feel like my grandmother was with me even after she had gone, like she wanted to share one more special memory with me before she said her final farewell.
Janet Nolen, Clayton, CA
We recently lost our 22 year old son to a tragic car accident. He was alone when it happened and no one found him for hours. Then no one could find us. The police finally located our friends who came to get me. I was in class with a group of second graders, making symmetrical butterflies as a finishing touch to our butterfly unit. I had originally thought that I could never think about butterflies again. But now I realize that it was my preparation for his leaving.
Annie, Leicester, England
Every year between May and August a red admiral visits my garden. I know this is not unusul but on sunny days it waits for me to come into the garden and then at first it flies round me and then sits on my arm or my shoulder for 10 minutes or more. If I move it flies away only to return. If I am not in the garden it sits on my chair as if it is waiting for me. I talk to it and it doesn't fly away when I get near it. I love it and look forward to its arrival each year.
Lee Ann, Mustang, OK
Mom always loved butterflies. Anything that had butterflies on it or if she saw one floating somewhere she just loved it and it made her so happy! Mom had lots of allergies and could not have real flowers around her so she could not have a flower garden to bring butterflies around like she would like to have. She loved fresh flowers, but just could not have them.

When Mom passed away in August 2001 so many people sent real flowers to the funeral home, everyone said now she could have all the real flowers that she wanted. The day of her funeral when we were at the graveside serve, they placed all the beautiful flowers around her casket. While the service was going on, I looked down at the flowers and there I saw the prettiest butterfly floating from flower to flower. I watched the butterfly and it floated to a flower right in front of me and sat there for a little while. Even though this was the saddest day of my life, the butterfly made me smile a bit. To me it was like a sign that Mom was at peace and that she was watching over me and my family.

Now everytime I see a butterfly I think about Mom and it reminds me of her love and that she is watching over us still!
Jane, Pittsburgh, PA
My daughter, Cori, died on June 4, 2002, from complications of an eating disorder. Cori was a beautiful and compassionate young woman who loved nature and animals. At her memorial service her life was compared to that of a monarch butterfly - beautiful but too brief. She brought joy to the people she was around and loved to sit in a warm spot in the sun. Mexican legend spoke of the monarachs as lost souls on their way to heaven. We released a 100 monarch butterflies at the conclusion of the service to help guide her spirit to heaven. All those who attended were also given flower seeds to go home and plant so other "souls" would have a place to rest in the sun. My mother and many of our friends and neighbors have now started butterfly gardens. Every time I see a monarch I feel touched by the memory and spirit of my daughter. I am reminded of the beauty and wonder of our world and the continuity of life.
Regyn Marshall, Brisbane, Australia
I love butterflies, in fact I am releasing butterflies at my wedding on the 18th of October. I am doing it in memories of my Uncle that died.

I have gotten to love butterflies because of my Uncle. When he died my Grandmother found this organisation that helps parents who have lost children to deal with their grief. There is also some help for siblings.

So as a result of this I connect my Uncle with butterflies. Don't get me wrong they are beautiful too. When I was out shopping one day and was getting into my car, I saw a butterfly on the ground next to my car. I put my hand down in front of it and it got on my hand. I put it in my car and went to work. The butterfly stayed by my side the whole time. I then took it home and left it in one of my rooms. The next day it was still alive and I put it outside for it to be set free, it died. I was a little upset, but couldn't stop thinking that maybe it didn't want to go anywhere.

So I think that was a message from my Uncle. I don't know what the message is but I am sure that I will find out one day.
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