The gift of the Butterfly

Written by Toni Lavigne-Conway | Special to The Valley Gazette

As you release this butterfly in honour of me, know that I am with you and always will be 
Hold a hand, say a prayer, close your eyes, and see me there
Although you feel a bit torn apart 
Please know I’m forever in your heart
Now fly away butterfly as high as you can, 
I’m right there with you more then you know  

This past Sunday, the skies were adorned with over 300 butterflies, lovingly released with so many memories and messages in mind, honouring members of families and special friends who are no longer here
with us.

It might be hard to imagine, but the experience of holding this tiny insect in your palm, feeling the gentle flutter of its wings as it wakens from its dormant state and then watching it take flight can help tremendously in the grief process.
Grief Counsellor and Educator Dawn Cruchet explains that butterflies are the international symbol for Hospice Palliative Care because they represent change, hope and transformation.

“I believe the metamorphosis of the butterfly is like the process of grief – caterpillars have insatiable appetites, then cocoon in a safe place just as grievers might do. When ready, the caterpillar emerges as a magnificent butterfly, ready fly. We cannot rush the process; it must happen in its own time. The same goes for grief, we cannot rush or “fix” grievers, we can only walk along side them.”

It’s no wonder that they represent change and hopefulness for so many. Such a big job for such a delicate little creature!

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