Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Butterfly Part 2

I wrote in my last blog entry about butterflies and how the life cycle of a butterfly…well a caterpillar really… is so similar to the journey I feel I’ve taken with the loss of Cole. That story of the journey of the caterpillar and the changes it made to become the beautiful and pure butterfly also makes me think of Cole’s journey. In a sense he was that caterpillar….hidden away inside of me with his twin brother, slowly growing and changing but still a caterpillar. Suddenly he began his chrysalis stage...before any of us were ready for it to happen. I didn’t want him to become a butterfly. I dreaded his arrival for it meant that I no longer held him with me. But I couldn’t stop his journey or change his ending…it was his, not mine. And when he was born we were left with the physical reminders of his caterpillar self but his spirit….now that was a butterfly!

And so the butterfly, in and of itself, does not just speak to me about coming out of despair to become something better but also of beauty, of life and of hope. Butterflies are a symbol of the loss of a baby (incidentally I had a butterfly on my door at St. Joe’s after Cameron and Cole were born and Cameron had one on his isolette and while in postpartum and the NICU we saw 3 more butterflies) but I was never totally sure why. So once again I turned to the internet and found this poem…....
The Butterfly
He had her there, resting on the palm of his hand for a while.
She was all he ever wanted.
Sometimes her wings were closed.

At other times, she spread her wings open in the bright sunshine,
displaying her colourful patterns.
He truly loved her.
She knew that.

He told her she was special and beautiful, he saw the beauty.
He appreciated her true colours.
But he couldn't keep her.
He knew that.

She was born to fly.

She had been beautiful in his hand, but in flight she soared.
In the garden amongst the colourful, sweet-fragranced flowers.
Her habitat.

In letting her go, he made her happy.
But she was always to remember his warmth and his love.
Always and forever.
For all of eternity.

And I thought, WOW… this leaves me with so much happiness, so much joy and so much Hope. My son will always remember the love I had for him and how well I looked after him. And I will remember the joy I felt to be pregnant with him, how special and beautiful he was each time I saw his tiny body moving around inside of at the countless ultrasounds I had. But he was born to fly, to soar above us all and guide us in our lives. I couldn’t keep him no matter how much I wanted to, he was too perfect for this world, he had a greater job. It was never a job I would have asked God for, never what I wanted for him. But I am so honoured to have MY son doing that job. I think part of me will always wish that he could have stayed but I feel so lucky to have seen his spirit, his movements, his life and his love. He gives me great hope….

A Symbol of Hope
A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam
And for a brief moment its glory
and beauty belong to our world
But then it flies again
And though we wish it could have stayed...
We feel lucky to have seen it.

And somedays it is harder to remember that hope, harder to feel so lucky to have seen his spirit. Somedays are still full of sadness and despair…I won’t lie to you and pretend that it’s easy, that I’ve moved on and only see the positives. But I am learning that I have to not look for the mission and the purpose…I don’t have to have the answers to the whys. I need to be still and know that he is with me, that God is with me. The stiller I am, the closer I feel to him and in all honesty the happier I am.

"Happiness is like a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you."

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