Friday, September 30, 2011

the flutter of wings

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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...

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Amanda said...

Oh my gosh, pass the tissues please. I know there is suffering everyday, but for some reason the thought of a butterfly who couldn't fly is just so upsetting.

Sheri said...

You handled this life moment with beauty and grace my friend.

Adrianne Surian said...

Are you kidding me? This is beautiful (well, beautiful and sad, I admit) and I'm so glad you shared. I love reading big parenthood moments, especially the ones that get me thinking about bridges we haven't crossed in our house yet. Feel free to link up whatever you like - it's why I call it Freestyle Friday. I hate for anyone to think that some of the most lovely and honest blog posts shouldn't be shared.

Happy weekend to you. :)


Shiloh said...

What a sweet approach to take. Thank you so much for passing that time on to us.:) I'm a new follower from Delicate Construction.:)

Jess said...

Sad but wonderfully expressed. :)

It seems to me like you handled his questions very well, too!

Jordan McCollum said...

We had a sudden death in our extended family this summer. We had a special lesson for my older two kids (ages 3 & 5) about God's plan for us and what happens when we die. We're still praying for their family every night, so my children often bring it up. Within the last week, my son asked when our family member would come back. It seems like it makes a bigger impression the older they get—or maybe just the more times we have to have this talk.

Melissa@TheHappierHomemaker said...

So sad, brought tears to my eyes. You handled it well though.

Mindie Hilton said...

Oh you are more then welcome to link up this beautiful sentimental post at Bacon Time, no worries. Death is a hard subject to explain to little ones. I am following you now with gfc and pinterst (my new love). Thanks for joining my linky, hope to see you each week. You are welcome to link up your etsy too.

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