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January 2007 to June 2007
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This is my story
In 2004 my mum got diagnosed with breast cancer. I had just come back from a big holiday away from my family when I came back all was fine, then my mum started having tests done and she wouldn’t tell me what the tests for I was 14 at the time and after she kept going back for more test I got more worried, when her results came back she told us, (me, my 2 little brothers and my little sister) that she had breast cancer. I didn’t know what to do so I cried and cried for 3 days, in this time I couldn’t sleep, when I couldn’t cry anymore because my eyes hurt to much and I was extremely dehydrated, I began to go over in my head what was going to happen and to me it didn’t look good. Mum told me she was going to have chemo and radiation therapy. I didn’t know what this was but I went to school the next day and looked in the library. I have read lots of books but none seem to give me a clear picture in my head what was going to happen. I was having a hard time copping at school I would start crying at random times, I had arguments with my teachers, I even walked out of my science class because my teacher was frustrating me he didn’t understand but to me it seemed he didn’t care, he is now one of my favourite teachers. I started going to the school counsellor once a week, so that I had some one I could talk to and trust, she didn’t understand what I was going through but she listened and helped me understand what I was feeling, we went through lots of different emotions but a lot of the time I didn’t feel anything, it was like there was a big hole where my emotions normally are. When I felt anything I felt frustration, I learnt through going to the counsellor that frustration is a mix of feelings so strong that it is like they are having a war inside me trying to over power each other. Mum came through the other end after the chemo and radiation fine her hair grew back down to her shoulders, life was almost back to normal. One year later she noticed a lump right where the other one was, the doctors said they couldn’t do anything except slow it down using more hormone treatment; she has been doing this since then but it didn’t seem to be doing much mum kept finding lumps all over the place but just around the area where it was at first. This year 2006 the cancer started growing really fast so they decided to give her chemo again to reduce the cancer again as the cant remove it completely. During this a friend of the family AMANDA died from cancer, we met her through mums cancer support group, she was one strong and brave lady she died on the 18 July 2006 I wish to always remember the good times I had with her and I am not sad she is gone but grateful she was here. We don’t know when mum is going to stop chemo but we think we are about half way through. they had to lower the dose because it kept making mum so sick she had to be rushed to hospital and stay over night between treatment she has no hair left and because I'm used to it I forgot to warn my friend when he came around and she took her hat off in front of him he got scared for a little bit

We found out that mum only has two lots of chemo left for this round then mum won’t have any more treatments for a while and the doctors will keep checking mum but for a while there is nothing for her. 1st November 2006 this morning I found out that mum has to have more chemo as while she was on her last one more cancer was growing. She starts in a couple of weeks. Mum has been sick then not so sick then really sick that she has to go to hospital.

November 2006 mum went to the hospital to get results from a scan I went with her because I was on study leave. She was told that there was a lump in her back and also a possible lump in her lung. Mum had treatment for the regrowth of the cancer in the area of where her breast was she had another lot of chemo taken by tablets. This week is my 17th birthday 22nd March but mum isn’t going to be home for that because she has to go into hospital on the 21st to have her breast removed as that now has cancer in it (she organised for me to have a cake for my birthday even though she had other things to think about.). The cancer is spreading rapidly and it is frightening me. It is exactly what happened to Amanda; her cancer grew fast and also spread fast. I’m scared that it is going to be the same for mum, once Amanda’s cancer started spreading it got quicker and quicker until the day she passed away. I am making a memory box for her. I didn’t know her long and I don’t have photos so all I have to rely on is things that she said or did and also things I wish I had of said to her or want her to know now that she is no longer with us. Mum has a chest infection she has had one lot of antibiotics now they think she has water on her lungs so she has more antibiotics and is very sick. She isn’t eating much and also she is vomiting lots. I hope she gets better as she seems to not have recovered from her opp. Mum went into hospital because she couldn’t eat or drink anything with out being sick. She had her CT scan on Friday this should show where the cancer is. These are the results mums cancer has spread some more... it is now on both sides of her rib cage pressing on her lungs which is making her cough continually and it now is also in her liver and chest wall.

This is a diary that I have had since about 2006 but I wrote what I remember from the start. Every time I am at the counsellor when I am working with stickers or drawing I tend to go for the butterflies and I’m not sure why but they must represent something in my head that I can’t quiet reach yet. I think that I will find out one day in my life.
Sarah Nastootaway, Constance Lake First Nation, ON, CANADA
Butterflies are like peace on Earth, with so many beautiful colours on them. It's like the color of earth God created. so harmless and so beautiful, like the colours of flowers.
William Syms, CA
My siblings and I were homeschooled as young children. One day we were set to releast our a group of Monarchs we'd housed since they were in cocoons. My youngest sister made an observation about butterflies that day she said," butterflies are like families they live with their parents for a while eat then one day they leave but they come back when they need something." It has been a while since we let those butterflies fly free, a couple of years since I flew, so now when I come home I'm going to remind her of what she said so many years ago. Family is a wonderful thing, when you forget something go back home and get it.
Vickie Eppler, Ardmore, OK
On October 10, 2006 my older sister, Moira Gentry, passed away due to breast cancer. The cancer spread from her breasts to her brain and lungs. The last couple of weeks of her life she was not very coherent. But the day before she died she was telling us about a vision she was having. She was very excited and she claimed to see millions of butterflies. She kept saying how beautiful they were and that there were millions of them. The next day one of my family members ran inside the house from out in the back yard and exclaimed that there were millions of butterflies in our backyard. So, we all go outside to see what's going on. And indeed there were millions of butterflies resting in the trees and circling our yard. No one could believe it. Later that day, Moira passed on. I went out in the back yard to mourn my sister and I noticed that all the butterflies were gone. It is my belief that the butterflies came and escorted my sister to heaven. Now everytime I see a butterfly I know my sister is near and keeping watch over everyone in our family.
Teresa Haggerty, Raynham, MA
My mother passed away of lung cancer in the winter of 2004. It was heart wrenching to let her go She loved nature and all creatures within, sometimes I think she loved them more than humans. Anyway, it has been a few years since her passing and I miss her terribily. It is so hard to say goodbye to the one who means the world to you and whom no one ever can take their place. I have not been a peace with her death and I truly needed some faith and hope to go on.

I am a strong dreamer with several different dreams each nite, however I have never until recently had a dream of mom, and every nite when I would go to sleep I would give her picture a kiss and hope that I could dream of her and feel her near me and find some comfort to ease my pain, and that is in fact what happened to me by the means of a beautiful butterfly . It has always be a dream of mine and my husband's as avid campers to buy a camp ground one day. And in my dream we were doing just that and my mother was the beautifulest of all butterflies, as she glistened with her bright colors and was their everyday for all to see, I felt such peace in this dream that I can sometimes not imagine that it was a dream at all but a reality to possibly come. I felt her so close and with such happiness because she was so near, butterflies are like angels and they come when we need them most.
Connie J. Cannon, Saint Augustine, FL
When first she came to visit me
   a misty presence filled the place
And sunlight sparkles wild and free
   were flowers dancing all in space.

Her touch was like a butterfly,
   so soft, now here, now gone, now Flown.
In speechless awe I closed my eyes
   and saw a Yellow Butterfly!

From time to time if I should call.
   she whispers quietly in my ear:
"Just lean on me and you won't fall.
   I'm holding you; there's naught to fear!"

She brings a Rose, its fragrance sweet
   is heaven's perfume in the air.
And that is how I know 'tis she.
   And that is how I'm sure she's here.

She guards us, each and every one;
   she cares for us, just as we are.
The ties that bind can't be undone.
   She's flying close; she's not gone far.

Not life, not Death can separate
   the Spirits whom by God are brought
Together in those Twists of Fate
   that with His Wisdon He has wrought.

She's promised when I cross the Bridge
   she'll meet me on the Other Side
To soar above the Great Green Ridge.....
   I'll be a Yellow Butterfly!

Shawna Luckey, Linden, WI
I was sitting at the lake with my family and just about dusk we were relaxing after a long day of swimming it was in the 90's. A very hot day. I was feeling something tickle my foot so I went to move it and shoo away what ever it was. As I looked down I saw a beautiful colorful butterfly. It stayed for so long my aunt whom is very much a nature expert told me they land on you and lick the salt from your skin. That is also very rare meaning only that you will have a lot of very good luck. Years later after my grandmother had passed a way. I was close to her. I was missing her so much. My mother was visiting from AZ we were at the same beach a BLUE butterfly landed on my arm. We had had a very bad two years or so my grandma died my daughter was diagnosed with diabetes (type 1 ) It was a very hard time for us. I had read something about the blue butterflies come to you when you lose a loved one to show you that they are with you always. I Love The Blue butterfly. I am thinking of getting a tatoo of one with my grandmothers name initials. Thank God for the wonder of the Butterfly.
Nancy, Charleston, SC
For a few weeks in October and November, 1983, I heard a song on the Christian radio station by the Boone Sisters called "The First Butterfly". The song touched me in the deepest place within my heart. I felt that the song was written just for me. Everytime I heard it I cried. I had no idea at that particular moment just how much that song would come to mean to me!

The "second" week in November,1983, we lost our oldest Daughter (Deborah) one week before her 23rd birthday, she died from side effects of Asthma. The song touched me again and again. I never purchased the record and I have tried for the past ten years to find the record or even the words to the song but I have failed at every turn.
My beloved darling husband died in October 2006. He was only 32, and we had battled together with his illness - brain tumour. I miss him so much. Our love was so special, and still is. My experience with butterflies began a couple of months ago, I saw a red admiral as I entered the cemetery. It was on the ground, did not move, I must have been a only a centimetre away from it. Then a red admiral visited me at home, it flew in a figure of eight a few times, just outside the window and then flew away. The next time I saw two red admirals, each approaching from different angles, but meeting over the my darling husband's grave. They seemed to dance together, kiss, and then fly off in opposite directions. The other day I was planting some beautiful daffodils at the grave, and what did I see, a red admiral fly in and sit on one of the daffodil flowers. I know that this is my darling husband, sending me sign of comfort and peace. I have never, ever had this experience before. Thank you.
Kris Mellinger, Ernest, PA
This is actually my Mom's (Margaret "Peg" Stanton) story - This is from her book of poems (The Butterfly Is Me!) A collection of inspirational poems she wrote about her journey through cancer - (The book is available online at any online retailer)

Peg was an excellent teacher who taught both in & out of the classroom. She taught for 35 years and she helped to develop a new program for gifted students in grades 1-6. Outside of the classroom she taught many people, children and adults, the value of friendship, strength, and courage. Peg’s life was a series of lessons to her beloved children, to her devoted husband, to her numerous friends and family and to herself. Her classroom was never confined to 4 walls as she taught many to “think outside of the box”. In 1999, Peg was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of breast cancer, a monster named “inflammatory breast cancer”. Only about 1% to 6%1 of breast cancers are inflammatory breast cancer (ibc). Her treatments included a radical mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and a grueling bone marrow stem cell transplant. Peg tried chemo after chemo, but to no avail, the monster kept spreading. She faced head on each treatment option and never questioned why she was chosen to suffer. Instead she began a journey to help her find an inner peace. It was in Sedona, where a butterfly landed on her shoulder and became her “symbol”. Peg found many correlations between herself and the butterfly, hence the title, “The Butterfly Is Me”.

Peg lost her battle with the dreadful disease and became a pathfinder on Sunday January 23, 2005.

It was during her six year journey with cancer that Peg started to write the poems found in this book. They are reflections about her and about life. She hoped that other cancer patients or anyone struggling with life would find these poems helpful and inspiring.

This book is very inspirational!

The Butterfly Is Me! by Margaret Stanton
Ivy Young, Sydney, NSW, AUSTRALIA
My father has just passed away, one week from today. His funeral was 2 days ago..I haven't seen my dad in the past 10 years, because I was forbid by my own mother and brother; I had a fall out with them 10 years ago..

I did get a chance to speak to my dad not long before he passed away. He died of cancer due to many years of smoking.

Yesterday, I was sitting in my backyard, and looking up at the sky and had a little chat to my dad as we were very close. Not even a second later, the most beautiful and big butterfly flew around me, and I had this sensation that my dad was at peace and he's happy.

That wasn't the first time I experienced the butterfly effect. Last year when my favourite aunt passed away from ill health in Canada, the day after, I had a beautiful butterfly, fly right next to me as I was taking my usual morning walk with my daughter.

I've told people about this experience, but they think I'm crazy. I think it's beautiful and I'm happy that my two favourite people have found peace...

Thank you
Leslie, Lindsay, ON, CANADA
After a very long fight with cancer, my son passed away at age 19. I had been asking for signs from him but it was very recent so I didn't expect much of anything because my grief was so intense.

Imagine to my surprise the day I was outside on our driveway in early March, less than a month since my son passed...when a fairly large butterfly showed up, began hovering over and around my head..keep in mind there was actually snow and the air very cold..unusal to see any insect life never mind a butterfly!

This butterfly decided to land on the window passenger side of my car, which was where my son sat for every and the many hospital trips...it stayed there for a couple of minutes..then flew away.

My sister was with me and witnessed this amazing site...

Later I went to my computer to try and identify which type of butterfly I had visit me...to my amazment... this butterfly is a Mourning Cloak...how fitting...that summer I had many, many butterflies in yard...

I am sure my first sighting in early March was a sign from my son...it was such a nice feeling...

Now we've moved and I have more butterflies than ever! I see Monarchs alighting on one of our Maple Trees, about 18 or more cluster together on a dead twig attached to the tree and rest there over night...Chris knew how much I loved butterflies...

Thankyou son
Jane, London, ENGLAND
My baby son Adam died when he was one day old and I found this almost impossible to cope with. My grief knew no bounds and I despaired of ever feeling happy again. I looked for answers as to why my son had been taken from me and to where he had gone. We buried him in the local churchyard and I hoped God was looking after him in a 'better place'.

I began to notice a white butterfly in my garden whenever I was sitting feeling low and thinking of Adam. When I went to Adam's grave there was a white butterfly sitting on the head stone and it gladdened my heart to see it. The sky looked dark and dismal and I ran to my car to escape the sudden rain, when I looked back towards the church there was a beautiful rainbow stretched towards my baby's grave. I knew it was a 'thank you'.

Another time after that we were holidaying in Cyprus and it was decided we should have a day out in the mountains. I was unhappy but I got in the car and was telling everyone about my baby's butterfly and rainbow sign to try to cheer myself up. At the top of the mountain there were a few market stalls selling local craft and produce. I didn't want to look I was miserable and sad for Adam. Suddenly I saw a market trader handing my friend something and saying "for the lady" and with that my friend returned to the car and gave me a white cotton hankerchief - and as I opened it - what did I see - but a beautiful embroidered white lace butterfly.

I had to say sorry to everyone in my party for being a misery, that butterfly cheered me up straight away, I knew it was a lovely gift from my son. My friends also were touched by this and remember it as a very special moment.

I keep the handkerchief close, it is a sign of love.
Sarah, USA
This is a true story!!

"You're like a butterfly, Sarah, breaking free from your cocoon." I can still hear my 6th grade English teacher's voice. It was just about a year ago, March 2006. This was the worse time of my 12 year old life. I didn't want to live any more and I even tried self-injury. I worte a poem about it once, and that's wat started the catastrophe. My English teacher, Mrs. Madigan, was the first to know and I trusted her, knowing that she could help me. Yes, I got counseling, but just talking to Mrs. Madigan made all the difference. I just knew from the second I saw her we were goind to be very close. Since the day that she told me I was a butterfly, my life has completely changed, and for the better. Yet, in some ways it has changed for the worst. Mrs. Madigan was only a subsitute teacher while my real teacher was on maturnity leave. Everytime she subsituted we wold talk and the last time I saw her at school she assured me that we would keep in touch by exchancing addresses.But,I found out in the begining of the 2006-2007 school year that Mrs. Madigan moved. Now, we're 100 miles apart. At first I couldn't accept it, and I'm still not completely over it. I searched and searched and searched some more to find tohis beautiful woman. I finally got in touch with a co-woker of hers the gave me her email address. Not even 2 days later I received an email from Mrs. Madigan!!! She stated that she has pictures to show me of the "beautiful butterflies in her new butterfly garden" I couldn't believe it!! A garden, 100 miles away, that I may never see, yet there because of me. I wrote a poem about butterflies this year that has been pupblished in the anthology, "Timeless Voices" with the help of poetry.com, my current English teacher, Mrs. Grantier (who is also my inspiration); and my school's librarian, Mrs. Reichard who is also a published author. I haven't heard from Mrs. Madigan in a while but it's okay, because I'm doing great!! Just to think, a negitive poem stated this whole catastrophe, but a positive poem started my new life, as a butterfly!! Mrs. Madigan, if you ever read this, just know that I really appreciate all you have done for me and I'll never in a 1000 lives forget you. I love you for all the great doors you have opened and all the "horrendous" doors you have closed. Thanks to you, I can soar, just like a butterfly.
Wendy Mosher, Ada, MI
Tomorrow, February 23, 2007 it will be four years since my mother has passed away. Tonight, I went on line to look up the web sites that sold inspirational jewelry. I am going to open a business that sells "jewelry to inspire." Some how I got on this web site and I read many of the stories of people who were touched by the presence of butterflies after someone they loved died. I do not believe this is a happen-chance that I got to this site!

I had many things that happened to me after my mother passed. I believed she was around me for about a year after she passed. Many unexplained out of the ordinary things happened. I truely belive now that when we die just our physical bodies die but we truley live on.

In the Michigan cold of February, days after my mother passed I saw moth fly every night outside our bedroom window. I made a joke at that time that it was my mom. Later, moths appeared at the most perfect times! One year later after my mom passed, on a February 23 night a moth appeared in the kitchen. I knew it was my mother. That night I had a dream where she said goodbye. Since then, once in a while a moth appears at the most strangest times. Spirit has a way of letting us know they are there!
Mary, Norphlet, AR
My daughter was brutally murdered in July 2005. She was 31 years old at the time. She had a daughter who was 11 years old. We have had a rough time of everything since our daughter was murdered. We have custody of our granddaughter. Feb 21, 2007 would have been our daughter's 33rd birthday. I wanted to share with you something that happened to us while at her grave yesterday. We went there to spend some time and put some red roses on there for her birthday. While we were there, in our misery, her daughter suddenly spotted a yellow butterfly on the roses. I immediately said it was from my daughter who had been killed. That butterfly stayed right there on those roses. My granddaughter knelt close to it and placed her hand close to it and it never moved. Then she barely touched it and it stayed perfectly still. I know that was sent from God for us. It was such an awesome experience. We took lots of pictures to help us remember.
Jacey Searra, Knysna, Western Province, SOUTH AFRICA
Seeing a Butterfly means I'm on the right path in my life, this fact I have decided because everytime I doubt myself I see one or 2 or 3 fluttering by. Seeing Butterflies makes me remember that there's a place for me in life which is totally unique to everyone I will or will not meet. No Butterfly has the exact markings and sometimes I need to be reminded of this moral!
Nina Bromley, Surrey, ENGLAND
Three years ago, my boyfriend Ben died in a car accident. I have had so many amazing butterfly signs from him to show me he is still with me. One of Bens friends, Steve, was there for me after the accident. He lost his baby brother and was sure there is life after death. On the 1st January this year, Steve also passed away in a car accident. I went to my mums that morning to be with my family. Ten minutes after I left to go home, I got a phone call from my mum. There was a butterfly flying around outside the window! It was a typical cold English day in the middle of winter so very rare for butterflies to be around. That was Steve .
Khadija Bajwa, RawalPindi, Punjab, PAKISTAN
Butterflies are colourful and cute animals.They add beauty to our life as well as to the whole world. But it's a shame to have too much less species of them left in the world. I am just writing this autobiography of a butterfly to address you all about these endangered species, which are only one third left in the world. This is all because of the smoke and dust pollution in this world caused by GLOBAL WARMING. We should try to control this because it is causing and can cause many endangered creatures to be extinct . And it can also be bad for our health too. We should love the nature and should not pollute the environment around us.

Hi!! everyone, I am a butterfly.I live in Pindi and am surprised to see the pollution surrounding this city.One day on 17th November, 2000 when I was out with my family on a picnic. All my cousins had came to my place to go with us. While we were going to the place decided for the picnic we grew very hungry and thirsty as the place was very far. We were three to four miles away from our home. We decided to rest there for sometime. Near the place was a big building, with smoke coming out from it.There was also a pond nearby.In which the waste of the building was coming. As we didn't know about that so we decided to drink water from it. There were water lilies in that water too so we also drank some of their nectar. I had not yet drunk much of the water that many of our family members started to feel very dizzy. My mother told us all not to drink the water as she was feeling very dizzy too. She said that the water was very much polluted by some sort of dangerous acid. Half of our family died. We were also not well for many days, our whole picnic was ruined and my sweetest friend, my caretaker--my mother had died. I become very very sad till know when Ithink of that incident. And Ithink that if that water took our lives what would have happened to the creatures living under the water. I would just like to request all the people to protect the new generations of our species. Which can add to much beauty in to your life.

So you would have got a lesson by the above story of the butterfly. I would also like to request people all over the world especially children. Because we children are the future of this world.
Crystal Willis, Salem, SD
On Mothers Day 2005 my father passed away from lung cancer. I have two sisters and two brothers. And I am the baby. We were very fortunate we all got to say goodbye, but before he died he told me he would send me butterflies. That is how I would know he was with me.and it is just amazing how many times I have seen my father floating around in my life.
Nanette Wilson, Kennerdell, PA
I truly believe butterflies are our link to Heaven. My precious, beautiful 19-year-old granddaughter, Casey Lynn McMahon, was killed in a car accident on Aug. 24, 2006. Immediately I noticed more butterflies around me and they would sometimes come right to me and then dart away and repeat this several times. Or I would be out driving and one would come right down to my windshield, but the most miraculous was about 2 weeks after she was gone. My husband and I came home from work one Friday afternoon and noticed a monarch butterfly hanging underneath one of the steps going to our second floor apartment. It stayed through us walking up and down the steps, a very windy, rainy weekend, and my daughter and I taking pictures of it and touching it very lightly so it would open it's wings. It never left until late that Sunday when the sun finally came out. I have never seen a butterfly stay in one place that long. We were very comforted by it's presence and we feel that it was either Casey comforting us or the wonderful Lord letting us know everything was allright. A friend said when a butterfly stays like that, another Angel got their wings. Whatever, butterflies always make me think of our sweet, precious Angel in Heaven.
Emily, NC
Well after my Grandma passed away this little black and blue butterfly started coming around. You know how when you get to close to a butterfly it will fly away, well this one did not budge when I would go close to it. It made me feel very good to know that she was with me.
Los Angeles, CA
It is exacly 2:30am on a Thursday morning , the day after Valentines day. Now that I'm realizing, it's amazing to think that a butterfly landed on my shoulder on Valentines day; this occurred around 10:30am. It might sound strange but I actually still feel the tap it gave my right shoulder. I was outdoors waiting to go into my next class. Suddenly I hear my friend tell me not to move because theres a butterfly on my shoulder. I must admit, I felt afraid. why would something like this occur? Now that I think of this, I somewhat feel honored. I asked around what the meaning of this would be, most answers I received where that someone close to me was telling me goodbye for they would pass away in the not so distant future.It was a large black butterfly with white around its wings. Its beauty left me in awe, but it has also left me with so many questions.
Dr. Carr, Sacramento, CA
My son passed away two months before his 20th birthday. One day earlier I had told him I would not continue to harp about the negative vibes I felt when a so-called "friend" came by the house, since he was now almost "over the hump" (e.g., that he was almost 20 and no longer a teenager), and that I trusted that he knew what he was doing and who he allowed to hang around him. My son was loved by all and he conquered even the most grumpy old men, young people, rich, poor, professionals and people who lived in the streets. I gave him the name "Indian of the Sun" when he was born because from the first moment they brought him to me at the hospital, he looked up at me and his Dad and big brother, Ricky and smiled making us feel warm all over and at peace. That is how he affected anyone who had the privilege of knowing him.

That horrific night - September 16, 1994, the negative person came to pick him up, honking his horn instead of coming in, as everyone else did. When he said, "That's Adam coming to pick me up," I gave him my blessings and did not argue with him, having already made peace with him the night before. I never saw my son alive again. That night they were supposed to go to a fraternity party but somehow they never got there. I heard Adam's noisy truck outside my home around 12 midnight that night, but strangely, I went back to sleep, after looking out my bedroom window and seeing his truck parked across the street, with the motor running. Normally, I would have gone to sleep until I heard my son coming in - I would have told him good night, and he would have come in to hug me and say goodnight also. My son was murdered that night in the most horrific manner that to this day, I am unable to talk about it because my whole being cries out for revenge and justice. At least once a week I go to the cemetary to see him. I stand there and ask Our Lord to shine his eternal light upon my son's gravesite and pray that he not allow any more harm to come to him, either by human beings, insects, animals and most of all, crows, which are infamous for waiting until people leave their fresh flowers and they come and swoop them out of the vases to eat at the stems. Every time I pray, I feel a shining, white light engulf my whole being, and I know Our Lord hears my prayers loud and clear. Along with the shining light that warms my whole being, there is always a tiny butterfly that comes out of nowhere - orange with black or white. I tell it thank you for coming to let me know my son is where he is supposed to be - making Our Lord and all those who surround him - crack up in laughter since that is what he did all his short life - Make us all happy and as described by his former supervisor, "He made us feel as if he was tucking us all in at night, with us feeling secure and loved."

I am sharing this story with all those loved ones who have lost either a son or daughter at an early age. God Bless You-All and please pray for all our loved ones who have died in Iraq and elsewhere, but most importantly, our young ones who have been killed here in the U.S. as a result of violence and unlawlessness.
Billie, Arlington, TX
My mother passed away three years ago. It was a very sudden and quick cancer. My brother, sister and I were by her side day and night. She promised us that we would always know that she was close when we would see a butterfly. Six months after her death my dad passed. We had a small memorial service for my parents at a cemetary close to my sisters home in Ill. Since dad was in the service we had an honor guard there for him and as they were folding the flag a butterfly flew across in front of us children.
Kim, Torrance, CA
About 6 months ago a very good friend of mine was killed. We all had to go to through the ordeal of going to his memorial. It was held at the park where it all happened. All of our friends gathered to say goodbye and talk about what a wonderful person he was. We talked about how guilty we felt for not going to visit him enought because he had moved 3 hours away from us. We felt awful for not seeing him one last time. Then the service began. As we stood out in the park listening to the stories that everyone had to share about him...a big yellow butterfly came and flew around. I knew at that moment it was him, coming so we can see him one last time. We all talked to him and when we did he would come and fly by our heads. It made all of us feel better kmowing that he was at peace and that he wasen't angry that we didn't visit enough. In his honor, I'm going to get a yellow butterfly tattoo.
Maria, Niagara, ON, CANADA
I was in a car accident in which I lost my baby daughter who was due to be born in just days. I was so sad that I had no memory of her life outside of the womb. I had never been able to look in her eyes and tell her that I love her. I so wanted an assurance that she was o.k. and knew that I loved her.

On a trip down south a few months after her passing, I was lying on a chaise, just feeling the warmth of the sunlight and remembering the last time that we had been down to the Caribbean - when I was about 6 months pregnant with that same daughter. As I lay there, a butterfly flew up to me and landed directly on the scar from the C-Section on my abdomen. It remained there for quite awhile. I felt that in that butterfly I had an assurance of her continued life.
Julie Crumptun, Bridgend, SOUTH WALES
Our precious daughter Melanie was murdered by her husband of 4 weeks, leaving behind 3 beautiful children. During a visit by the police to go over a statement by my husband, my daughter Carly and I were sitting in the hall. She looked up suddenly, I asked what she was looking at, she said look at that. Nestled on the lightshade was a beautiful red admiral butterfly. Now this was early January, very cold. I knew straight away it was Mel, but didn't know that these things happened. I had a butterfly tattoo on my neck a good few years before and thought maybe that was why. What a lovely thing to have happened. I got and still get a warm feeling of comfort, knowing she is at peace now.
Iris, Irvine, CA
My grandmother passed away 16 years ago and at the time of her passing my uncle discovered a big, beautiful, yellow butterfly in her room fluttering about. My grandfather passed away in the late afternoon of September 2005, it was a very sad time for all of us. On the morning of September 18th, while visiting my dying grandfather I discovered a huge black butterfly by the sliding glass door eagerly trying to get into the house. I yelled to my 1 year old son to look at the butterfly and after a few minutes the butterfly was chased away by my dog. When I told my mom about the butterfly I had seen she wept. That afternoon my beloved grandfather passed away. We would like to believe that my grandfather's soul was with the butterfly and he wanted to be with us once more before he went on. It was a very spiritual experience, one that I will never forget.
Gale Glassner Twersky, Montclair, NJ
Before I begin my butterfly story, I'd like to give you the background that preceded my incredible experience in Paris with a very special Monarch butterfly in May of 2006.

After studying Spirituality for over 25 years, I had finally transformed most of my fears into new perspectives that allowed me to replace fears with love. For instance, I had always been terrified of bees but one day when I saw that a bee was trapped in our bathroom trying to escape through the skylight, I used my thoughts to speak to it with love. I asked that it drop to the floor so I could place a plastic cup in front of it, have it walk inside, and then I would take it outside to freedom. No sooner had I finished that thought, than the bee did a nose dive for the floor. Indeed, I placed the plastic cup in front of the then walking bee and it accommodated me by simply walking in. I then took it outside and let it go free. Rather amazing? Well, the same scene happened within the next few weeks with 4 more bees in the same bathroom!

Then, one day after the bee episodes, there was a moth on the bathroom mirror. I suggested silently through my thoughts that I would help it outside to freedom if it would allow me to take it outside in the small, plastic liquid Tylenol cup that I held in my hand (I didn't have the usual 7 oz plastic cup handy). Well, it did wait for the cup; it simply flew to my finger immediately and I took it outside.

My husband did not believe it was possible that I was communicating with bugs and thought I was delusional. So one day when there was a fly in our kitchen, he pointed to it and said, "Let's see you talk to this one. Because if you can't, in 5 minutes I'm going to get the fly swatter." Making no promises to my husband, I communicated the urgency of my request that I help this poor little fly out the door and suggested that I would extend my finger onto the table and allow it to climb on board. It took about 3 minutes but it very wisely complied with my request, walked up my finger, I lifted it off the table and walked 15 feet to the back door where I opened the door and released the (I was sure) jubilant fly. My husband never spoke of the incident but a year later he said he had forgotten it ever happened.

And now for the butterfly story. While on our first trip to Paris, my husband, my daughter and I were visiting the magnificent gardens of Versailles. I noticed the most gorgeous, vibrant orange colored Monarch butterfly and brought it to everyone's attention. Then all of a sudden it left the tall hedge and flew about 15 feet overhead. I called to it and raised my arm with my hand making a flat landing pad for it. "Oh, come to me, please come to me," I shouted. And it did! It came back down and lit upon my hand whereupon I drew it close to my face. All I could think to say to it was, "You're so beautiful!" It stayed on my hand and I was completely in love. It had a body like a rainbow swirl pipecleaner, fuzzy, and elongated. Its antennae had little black balls on the ends. Its legs were somewhat bowl-legged with what looked like black booties. It felt like I was communing with nature and communing with God at the same time. It was a "in the moment" experience that felt like total peace. Fortunately my daughter had a camera and took a picture so I had tangible proof of my few minutes in adoration of my butterfly. My husband has stopped debating me.

I truly believe butterflies have a special frequency that we humans can tune into, similar to dolphins, dogs, cats and horses. They bring us so many blessings.
Lorraine Smith, Kent, UNITED KINGDOM
I lost my mum to cancer four years ago. The day after when all the family came together, we were in my sister's garden talking about good times and sharing memories when I noticed a white butterfly. I was mezmerised as this butterfly hovered over each and every one of us. It stayed around us all the time we were there. I mentioned it to my family at the time but I think they all thought I had lost the plot but iI felt sure it was our mum just letting us know she was still with us.

A week later the day before mum's funeral another tragedy hit us, my daughter went into premature labour and gave birth to three tiny little girls, Kelsey only survived two hours and Chloe and Courtney were very poorly. I was so torn but my daughter wanted me to say goodbye for both of us so with a very heavy heart I went to my mum's funeral.W hen we were at the graveside the first thing I noticed was two white butterflys dancing around our heads. Instantly I felt a calm wash over me. I felt like it was a message from mum to say don't worry baby's with me. I will take care of her.

Sadly Chloe passed six weeks later and Courtney struggled on for six months before she too gave up her brave fight for life. The really strange thing is since all that has happened I now see clusters of butterflies - always clusters of four dancing around and they always hover above our heads. I always say hello mum ,hello girls, not caring what other people think. It brings me so much comfort knowing they're all together and when I read all of these stories I was cestatic. I thought I was the only one to feel this way but I know I am not alone. God bless you all
NNC, Kingston, JAMAICA
It was a beautiful June morning in Jamaica and the butterflies were in season. There were so many butterflies flying around, I thought to my self I had not seen this in a while. As I sat in the car, waiting for my fiance, I couldn't help but admire the butterflies. They were so beautiful, so graceful. Their beautiful yellow colour brightened the already sunlit morning and their graceful fluttering caressed the crisp morning air. I was totally captivated.

My fiance entered the car and oblivious to all that was happening proceeded to clean the windscreen. When he was finished, one little butterfly pitched onto the windscreen and got his wings all wet. The butterfly's mobility was instantly impaired because its wet wings were stuck together and it was caught on the windscreen. I tried to help it, but it was so delicate, and I was afraid of doing more harm than good. There was little I could do with my human fingers and I felt sad.

Then the most amazing thing happened. My fiance and myself could not believe our eyes. Suddenly we saw several other butterflies, as if they understood exactly the plight of their fellow butterfly, just flew down and delicately brushed themselves against the butterfly on the windscreen. They did this repeatedly until the butterfly's wings were dried after which it gracefully flapped its wings, as if to test them, then flew off.

What level of intelligence? What remarkeable teamwork? What perfect demonstration of unselfishness and love? If only humans could embrace this behaviour...what a better world this would be!
Deborah Shelton, Lake Charles, LA
My precious son Kevin drowned in June 16th, 2002. Through the years I have felt so lost without him. I have cried until there was no more tears. But recently I attended a conference for bereaved parents where we released butterflies in their honor. As the music was playing I was getting so nervous about the releasing. I really wanted to keep my butterfly, but I knew it w ould die soon. As I opened the little box fearing it would fly away to quickly and I wouldn't get to see it, I was praying Lord please let me hold this precious gift. This little butterfly came out flutering his wings as if to say "look at me", he flew onto my shirt right above my heart and this is where he stayed for several long emotional minutes. I cried for him to stay and even called it by my son's name, it did stay for a while. Then I thought how selfish I was being, this precious gift from God, was just like my son had been a special gift from God, needed to be free. So I told this butterfly to fly free and fill the world with beauty as my son had with mine. Kevin you are never forgotten and will always be in or heart and soul, Mom.
Amanda, Covington, VA
For the last 6 months, I have been struggling with money issues, confidence issues, and have felt like I have been in the bottom of a barrel. Together with my husband, we are raising 3 children. He works and I have stayed home with the children for the last 9 years by choice. That has been wonderful, but at the same time, providing for three children on one income is a struggle. And although I wouldn't trade being with my children while they are small, it takes a toll on you and I have lost a part of what used to be a vibrant, courageous young woman. I took a job babysitting in my home to help with out with the finances, but that was a great intrusion on our home life, as well as a creator of intense jealousy for my now 2 year old son.

For the last month, I have run all kinds of scenarios in my mind about how to "fix" some of our problems. I was outside last week having a yard sale, of all things, and had a group of ladies that stopped by. I was so taken in by this group of middle-aged women who were having the time of their lives searching through my junk. While they were on my back patio, one of them said, "Look there on your doorknob." It was a butterfly. It stayed there for probably 5 minutes. My children looked at it and it wasn't spooked by them at all. Then the lady said, "You know it's good luck when a butterfly comes to your door." I had never heard that before.

I helped the ladies carry some of their rummage to their vehicle and was entertained by the way they laughed and carried on. I asked if they were just friends or if they were related. They revealed that they were 3 sisters and their mother was also with them. I relayed to them how wonderful I thought it was that they were such a close family and took time to get together and load up in the car together and yard sale! I told them I am an only child and that I don't have that "comradery" with siblings, and that I thought it was teriffic. I chatted with them a little while longer and then they were off.

In the week that has passed since then, we have made a change to our financial situation that will help tremendously and I have met with the local community college to enroll in the fall for classes that will lead me to finish my education degree. I will send 2 of my three children to school this year, and I will still be able to spend most of my time at home with my 2 year old. I think about the butterfly that touched down on my doorknob often, and the blessings of the 4 ladies who reminded me that there is nothing more important than family and loving one another.
Eileen, West Grove, PA
Death of a loved one is difficult. The stories I have just read are filled with such sadness and grief that I almost feel disrespectful to tell mine. However, our beloved pet, Cocoa, died Saturday, June 16th after a short sickness. We knew at 11 1/2 years old that she was deterioting but still did not expect her to die. She was a beautiful, affectionate, smart Chocolate Lab which we inherited from our senior in college son when Cocoa was only weeks old. Finally on our own with 4 children raised, educated we did not expect another dog in our lives. She was very dominate as a puppy and through patience and love became the most wonderful pet. On Saturday when we realized we would have to say goodbye to Cocoa we called all our children to the emergency vet center. After arriving and holding her and looking into her sick eyes our four grown children said goodbye to this beautiful family member of ours. My oldest son in particular would often come over just to take her for long walks on the walking trails around our house. While leaving the vet center, my husband handed the oldest Cocoa's red collar saying that Cocoa would want him to have this. We all hugged and cried and wondered how we would ever confront the huge void she left in our lives.

The next day was Father's Day and I found my husband awake at 6:00 crying into Cocoa's blanket. She was his shadow in all he did and I knew on this particular day he would feel the pain of her not being around. As I was crying and overwhelmed with grief I asked God to just let me know we did the right thing and that Cocoa was no longer in pain and was happy. Immediately I looked out the glass sliding door and onto our deck landed a small, white butterfly. It was so immediate after my prayer that I felt it was definitely a sign. Later that evening my daughter called to say she prayed for a sign that Cocoa was okay. As she sat in her sunroom she noticed a small, white butterfly on the screen for more than a few seconds. I then told my husband about the two butterfly stores and he started to sob uncontrollably. He had a golf outing on Monday and it was a better ball scramble. On the sixteenth hole they would use his ball since it was the better shot. As the foursome approched the ball a small, white butterfly flew around and landed exactly on top of the ball.

Later, my son decided on his way home from work to walk the trails around our home with Cocoa's collar in his hand. I am anxious to see if any of my other children witness a small, white butterfly. This can not be conincidental, and although I miss her and our home is filled with reminders, I am somewhat comforted. For all the people grieving I will hope you find comfort.

Thank you for letting me tell my story!
My Mum died 4 years ago of cancer so was not around to see the birth of her first grandchild. In the final few weeks of my pregnancy my husband and I were sitting in the garden enjoying the evening sun when a beautiful white butterfly started to fly in circles around me. It landed on my arm, cheek, hand and knee. The whole episode lasted 10 minutes. I felt such a strong connection with my mum and I knew it was her way of letting me know that she was with me and with her grandson. I went on to give birth to a gorgeous baby boy who has inherited his grandmother's bright blue eyes and calm temperament.
Novato, CA
My father in law recently passed away. During the time before his services, I was outside in my yard sweeping the brick pathway in my back yard. I started to think of my father in law and of some fond memories I have of him. As I looked back down at the ground, I noticed this beautiful butterfly laying on the brick path with it's wings opened. I've never seen that type of butterfly before, it's dark brown a wing pattern of yellow and blue dots. I immediately said "Hi Bill". I felt my father in law's spirit there with me. So, I periodically came back outside to look for the butterfly and it was still there, it was there through the night and the next morning. I'd visit it, my husband and a friend even saw it. My husband said it was a gift to us and I truly believe that. Lastly, I went to the internet to see if there were other similar stories like mine and came upon this wonderful site. I read of one story mentioning that the butterfly they saw was a Mourners Cloak. So, I looked it up and there it was! The same pattern and color as the one that's hanging around outside in my backyard by my garden path. I'm truly moved by this and there is such an enormous amount of calm and peace from this beautiful gift.
Gisela Marin, Tarrytown, NY
My daughter Jessica N. Santos loved butterflies and what they represent. She loved them so much that she even had a butterfly tattoo on her lower back. On August 27, 2006 she was killed - the innocent victim of a random drive by shooting. She was only 19 years old and beautiful and free spirited like a butterfly.

The day of her funeral, a monarch butterfly was lingering and flying outside the funeral home. It was captured by my cousin and she put it in a bag and held on to it all through the church and burial services. At the cemetery, I then released the butterfly and said, goodbye Jessica, till we see you again, fly free butterfly....

The butterfly then flew over the flowers on her grave, did 2 spins, and then flew straight up, way up high into the clouds. I believe my butterfly angel, Jessica, and her soul flew up to heaven that day.
Irene Lara, San Angel, TX
I come from a very close knit Hispanic family. In fact, my husband, three daughters and myself live across the street from my parents. After my father died in Jan. 2007, my middle daughter insisted that she did not want a quincenera. Her birthday is 3 days after my dad's and she was named after him. In my pain and depression, I didn't argue, I just said okay.

A couple of weeks ago, my sister told me she had this strong feeling after she prayed that Alexis (my middle daughter) should have a quincenera and that I should ask her. The next morning, I said,"What would you say if I wanted you to have a quincenera", and immediately she said yes.

We started looking up quincenera stores for ideas on a theme, my older daughter had angels for hers. We came across a butterfly garden, and we both liked it. My dad had a huge garden in our backyard, and she thought the butterflies were nice without being too girly. We googled butterflies to see if we found a picture of one so we could choose a color scheme. The first site that we got on was called butterflies and rainbows, Hello from Heaven. We did not know about ADC signs and thought that was cool, because the day after my dad died we saw a beautiful, double rainbow, which is odd for January in West Texas!

The following Mon. my brother e-mailed telling me about all the butterflies he and his wife had been noticing. He thought dad might be telling us that he is okay. I still had not told him about the website I found and Alexis' quincenera. Since then, we have seen so many butterflies and bluebirds, not to mention rainbows!
Linda, TX
Several months after my husband died I went to a park to eat my lunch. As I sat at the picnic table I saw several butterflies go past me. I was thinking of my husband and how I missed him. A few minutes later one butterfly appeared right in front of me and then flew away. I whispered, "don't leave". A few seconds later it reappeared and landed on my hand and then on my sandwich and then another one landed alongside the first one. There they were right in my hand! I would always save the last bite of my sandwich for my husband...........and here on my last bite of sandwich was these two beautiful butterflies!! I know the One that sent these for me. Every time I see a butterfly, I think of this moment.
Sherry, Redondo Beach, CA
Oh how I love butterflies, as do my sisters.

Years ago, I used to see a yellow butterfly fluttering around my back porch. It reminded me of my grandma, my mother's mom, who I remember wearing a yellow floral dress, so everytime I see the yellow butterfly, I say "hi grandma". Now the entire apartment complex where I live knows my story. Everytime they see a yellow butterfly, they'll say "Sherry, there's your grandma". And now some of them believe that their "passed relatives" are saying "hello" too when they see a butterfly.

A year ago yesterday, we lost my wonderful father to pancreatic cancer. We miss him so. A couple of days after my father had passed away, I was at home with my mother and my sister. My sister and I were doing some yardwork. All of a sudden I saw a beautiful monarch butterfly fluttering around my feet and landing on my toes. I told my sister, "that's daddy. He's letting us know he's okay". Monarch's are stately leaders. My father was one of them. My sister and I smiled and hugged. We knew in some way, in our way, that he was okay and was with us helping us with the yardwork, which used to be his job.

Months later, my sister told me about when she went to visit my father at the cemetery and how a beautiful purple butterfly landed on his grave - she loves purple, it's her favorite color. We used to hunt for "easter crocuses" at the beginning of spring at the farm where we lived when we were young. We have never ever in our lives seen a purple butterfly. We knew it was a special one. She said "dad" was there and reminding us that we was still with us.

Several months ago, I went with my boyfriend and his father to a resort for the weekend. We stopped at a little town on the way to our destination. My boyfriend went off to the store, while his father and I chatted outfront. All of a sudden, a huge monarch butterfly came and sat on his arm, and I said "oh Pat, it's my dad', he's checking you out. He wants to make sure you're a good man". We laughed, but deep inside, I knew my father was giving me a sign that he was out there, along with me in life, just wanted to remind me he was still looking out for me and sat upon my friend's father's arm letting me know "He's a good man and it's okay". It made me smile and gave me comfort knowing he was around, even though I couldn't see him.

So to you all of you butterfly believers, what we believe to be true is true to us. It makes us braver and stronger, able to bear the stresses of life easier and reminds us to live each day to the fullest, be the happiest you can be, have "fun", spread your wings and fly. They're reminding us they are with us, they're free and happy and healthy, like we should be.
Jimmy Scott, Nashville, TN
Last year after my mother passed away i wrote a song called "On the Wings of a Butterfly" and posted the lyrics on this marvellous website. I have recently made a video/slideshow using some nature footage and featuring a wonderful female vocalist performing the song. Here is a link in case anyone would like to see it.many thanks, jimmy scott

Helen, Massachusetts, USA
My 85 year old uncle, who was a POW from WWII, passed away in a VA hospital during April, 2004. He suffered from bad knees resulting from his many years of service as a postal carrier. At the very end of his life, my uncle was admitted to the VA's nursing home care after breaking his ankle while stepping out of the shower and for choosing to decline further treatment for his prostate cancer. He was bedridden for the remainder of his days. The day before he died, my uncle had an incredible deathbed vision that was relayed to us by his youngest daughter, who was witness to his conversation with someone she could not see with mortal eyes.

At my uncle's funeral, I wore a tiny butterfly lapel pin in honor of my own son who passed at the age of 24 in 1999. When the military personnel began playing Taps at the gravesite, my uncle's eldest daughter suddenly sobbed out so loudly we all couldn't help but cry with her. My heart went out to all my uncle's 6 children, but especially that particular cousin because she took care of her mother before she died of lung cancer 3 years earlier. After the services, I felt a strong urge to hug my cousin before we left the cemetery and to transfer the pin I was wearing onto my cousin's jacket. I told her the story behind the butterfly as a sign of transformation at the time of death. I added the butterfly is a sign her father's spirit is renewed and that he took flight like a butterfly from his broken body and flew free and whole towards heaven.

Later upon returning home, I wanted to sit in my backyard with nature all around where I like to sit and think of my beloved son. At that moment, I was thinking solely of my uncle and pictured him running around in heaven, whooping it up, and feeling completely free after years of painfully hobbling around in his physical body. Suddenly a butterfly - the first one I saw that season - came fluttering into my yard like a heavenly gift, and I felt so joyous at the sight and timing of this remarkable butterfly. The feeling also came to me that it may have been my uncle's spirit validating his awareness of my giving the token butterfly pin to my grieving cousin. Happiness gushed over me during this special, revealing moment, and I shared the story later on with my cousin of this after death communication. It was reassuring to us that her father's spirit lives on and sent this beautiful butterfly to me so quickly.
Kindrah Caffey, Abilene, TX
I am a nurse at an oncology clinic in a West Texas town. I also co-facilitate a support group for women who have cancer with another nurse named Heather. The name of our support group is W.H.I.M.S., it is an acronym for Women's Hope Inspires More Survivors. Our "mascot" is the butterfly. There is so much symbolism associated with the butterfly and cancer.

A cancer patient undergoes a dramatic transformation beginning with the diagnosis, which is almost always life shattering, and ending with the conclusion of treatment, leaving a new life reborn after tragedy. It is not uncommon for a cancer patient to withdraw within themselves in the beginning phases of their diagnosis and treatment course. This signifies when a caterpillar creates its cocoon to shield itslef from the outside world. Like the butterfly the cancer patient undergoes many changes, both good and bad. In my experience many patients come out transformed into something beautiful, graceful, humble, and anew. On June 12, 2007 our office will be hosting a Survivors Day Ceremony in our office garden. At the end of the ceremony our patients will be given indiviualized envelopes containing a live painted lady butterfly to release into the garden. This ceremony is dedicated to those brave individuals who have fought a battle more difficult than any other and succeeded in overcoming the obstacle of cancer.
Mary Ann Harrington, Milwaukee, WI
Almost three years have gone by since you left the earth. I am honored that you have taken the time to fly by. I recognize you in the butterfly I have seen the past two weeks, and I am thrilled that you decided to land on my leg three times today. I stilled my mind to listen to your message. What you said was to take an internal inventory, to be permeable, to love without judgement, to let the butterflies fly. did I hear you correctly? Was it honest and free? Does it ring of bias? Did it really come from me?

You are not the first butterfly to visit me, by them I have been blessed by mom and dad and all the rest. I continue to say hi and listen for a reply.

The Message of the Butterfly

Do butterflies talk?
I would like to know.
Do Butterflies talk?
I tend to think so.
After our visit you see
I feel that we talked
Don't you agree
As quieted my mind
I thought you did say
My time was coming
Keep nothing at bay
Your free floating spirit
So airy and light.
Suggested a guided
unerring flight.
I choose to believe
unless proven wrong.
That it is you I hear in
the lyrics of many a song.
So I will see you tomorrow
By the river's edge.
Waiting for your words of wisdom
as they float into my head.
Angela Jiang, Calgary, Alberta, CANADA
Once upon a time,a young caterpillar crawled out of its egg and ate a lot of leaves. It was very fat. Soon it was winter. It turned into a cocoon and changed into a butterfly. It dried its wings and flew away. It was a Monarch butterfly!
Angel Lam, Hong Kong, CHINA
Life is a short journey. When we die, we will just become beautiful butterflies. It is what we believe in Chinese culture. When my grandfather died one year ago, I felt extreme sorrow until I saw a butterfly on the mountain passed me. I felt calm and warm. I know that my grandfather is free from distraction, doubt and fear. He becomes a beautiful butterfly and enjoys the real freedom. I should not blame either myself or others for any saddness happened on us. Just let it go and accept the changes in the nature.
Marsha Lyon, Gig Harbor, WA
It was a beautiful summer Day just 6 months after my beloved Son Jeff had passed away. Jeff was an avid fly fisherman. I felt a need to be near a river. I drove from Arizona to Idaho on a road trip following the Salmon river. I met a friend along the way and we went up to a special spot he knew of in Idaho, on a little stream. I needed some alone time and walked down to the river. There were stones that lead out into the water and I cautiously followed them and sat on a large rock. I had a vision of Jeff so elequently fly fishing as I gazed up the river. There he was, as I had watched him perform so many times. Then in a whisper came this beautuiful yellow butterfly who encircled my head over and over again. I began to weep and spoke Jeff's name just praying for more time with this creature. As it flew off I thanked God for letting me know he had my son safely tucked in his arms. As I opened my eyes again there it was circling again and then bidding farewell. The job had been done. I knew who had sent this beautiful creature to give me a moment of peace.
Liz Reyna, Rohnert Park, CA
In 2003, my husband (who was 57 and had always been very healthy)suddenly came down with a serious infection. After several days in the hospital, he suffered a cardiac arrest. He went for 15 minutes without oxygen to his brain, had complete kidney failure and pneumonia. As he lay unconscious on life support in the intensive care unit, his doctors urged me to discontinue kidney dialysis, which would result in his death. They said if he survived he would be a ""vegetable"" due to severe brain damage. They told me he had ""zero"" chance of walking and talking ever again.

After agonizing for several days, I decided that this was not the time for my husband to pass away. I refused to discontinue the dialysis. It was a long, hard road. He remained in intensive care for 2 months and then in a rehab hospital for 2 more months. Very slowly he became alert and stronger. I visited him every day at both hospitals.

Sometimes I questioned the decision I had made. Gil had been a very sharp, intelligent person, a computer programmer. Now he would be forever dependent on me, and our future was very much in doubt.

Finally the day came when he was allowed home for a 2-hour visit from the rehab hospital. We sat in his hospital room beforehand, and he said suddenly, ""What is it about butterflys?"" I had no idea what he meant, but he picked up the remote on the TV, and switched around till he came to a program about butterflys. I thought that was a strange coincidence, but thought no more about it.

Soon afterward, I carefully assisted Gil out to our car and we drove home together for the first time in months. We walked into the house together, something I had many times doubted we would ever do again. I immmediately walked to the back door and opened it to allow a breeze inside the house.

On a shrub right outside the door was a cloud of beautiful monarch butterflys. This time, I didn't doubt that the coincidence was a message. I knew that I had made the right decision for my husband, and that somehow everything would work out for us and our family.

Today, although Gil can't work and has memory problems, he is in many ways still the same funny, intelligent, caring individual he always was, and we continue to be happy together.
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