“What the caterpillar sees as the end of the world, the butterfly sees as the beginning.” – Anonymous
It was the call you do not want to get. A parent, distraught and broken, telling you that their child has died. Whether natural or accidental, peaceful or tragic, there is a deep, unique grief and pain to the unnatural loss of a child. Doing what we do, my staff and I took the hands of those in the family and helped them navigate the process of saying goodbye. A gathering of friends and family was held, a celebration of a life not long enough lived was held, and we proceeded to the cemetery. Then, while there, during this time of incredible sadness and pain, a butterfly lit on the casket.
I will never forget the immediate change that occurred.
A calm settled over the group that had gathered and while some fingers pointed out the winged visitor, all focus turned to it. The parents, in the depths of hurt and pain, began to smile. Like a ray of sun through a dark and stormy sky, this fragile little creature had broken through the current atmosphere of grief and showed all present the promise and beauty of hope. Then the mother looked at me and said “It is blue, her favorite color.”
Sometimes in life, when things are stormy and dark, it is not the whole storm that clears. Sometimes it can be something as small and fragile as a butterfly to remind us that we have hope and that the storm will pass.
As you go through your day, keep an eye out for the butterflies. They are a reminder that life is worth living, laughing and loving.