There is a story behind this exact butterfly that I’d like to share… then I will also share a similar story from Wayne Dyer, which makes me feel even more certain that I have the right symbol for my nonprofit.
In general, butterflies are an international symbol of transition. They are often used in the context of grief. I feel that is because they symbolize such a huge change in our lives after loss – transitioning to a life without our loved ones. I also feel that they symbolize a transition of our loved ones from a physical life to a spiritual life; just like caterpillar goes into a cocoon and emerges as a beautiful butterfly!
The story of the ABJ butterfly:
One summer day, approximately a month after my 21-year-old son Brent died in a motorcycle accident, my other son Brad, and his friend Patrick were at my house. Patrick was out on the deck on this warm sunny day and came into the house with this gorgeous large colorful Monarch butterfly perched on his hand! Brad called to me to come see it. I grabbed my camera and took it’s picture as Patrick held it. The beautiful creature never moved, just opened its wings for me to get a better picture!
Then Patrick handed the butterfly to Brad, and I took more pictures, sometimes blowing slightly on it’s wings to get them to open. The creature obliged me on command but did not leave! Brad then handed me the butterfly and took my picture holding it. We all marveled at its beauty and that it did not try to get away. We hoped it was a sign from my son, Brad’s brother, Patrick’s friend.
After at least 30 minutes, we felt it was time to let it go back to nature – it apparently was not trying on its own. We said goodbye to the lovely Monarch, and Patrick put the it back out on the deck. After hanging around for a few minutes, it rejoined nature. We all felt blessed, like we’d been visited by Brent’s spirit!
At that time, I had no idea that years later, I would write a book and have that exact butterfly on the cover. Not did I know that I would be starting a company using that butterfly in the logo! But luckily, when I decided to do those things, I was able to find the digital images from that moment.
What made me think of this incident today, was that someone I met who does art therapy, Susan Horn Greif of Arts Meands Hearts, forwarded me a video of Wayne Dyer with a similar and even more amazing story about his encounter with a Monarch butterfly. He mentions what amazing delicate-yet-enduring creatures they are in their travels between Brazil and Nova Scotia! Watch it here & enjoy!