i recently posted on Bear and my journey to grow our own butterflies and our subsequent attempt to let them go. we were attached to one butterfly who was especially dear to us. his name was ginky (named by Bear). either when he was developing or when his wings were drying, they got folded and never unfurled. needless to say, without the ability to fly, he would have never made it in the wild, so he stayed with us and 3 of his brothers in the house. i knew that the day would come when their little wings wouldn't be fluttering anymore.
i tried to prepare Bear by telling him that someday soon, the butteflies wouldn't be alive anymore. ginky and one of his brothers were the first to die. when we saw them, laying still, Bear wanted to examine them closely. he looked at their wings as they lay in my hands. he touched them and observed the lack of movement. then came the questions.
why did they die?
why don't they move anymore?
why don't butterflies live very long?
why did the butterflies go to Heaven?
this is Bear's first real experience of the death of someone he cares about. his great-grandma GiGi passed last summer, but his recollection of that time is limited.
i'm not a therapist. i'm a mommy who uses gut-parenting... y'know... do what feels right. this is a breakdown of the conversation i had with Bear:
when someone dies, their heart (like a spirit or a soul) goes to Heaven
but their body stays here.
God makes everyone healthy and happy in Heaven.
the only person that could ever come back from Heaven is Jesus.
it's okay to be sad that he doesn't fly in our garden anymore. we have
pictures and memories of our special times with him.
Bear is fairly resiliant. he's asked about this again over the past few days. he doesn't really grasp the whole concept yet as he's not at that developmental stage. i wanted to make sure that i presented death factual and not something to fear.
i get a little heavy in the heart when i think of ginky. those minutes spent outside with him sitting on my hand, made me feel closer to God. the delicate intricacy of their bodies and wings just amazes me. they're symbolic to me of the change our earthly bodies will undergo when we die. it makes me a little sad. but i know...
other posts on children dealing with death
a wonderful story from Can You Hear the Birds Sing?