The Butterflies are Coming - Don’t Miss Them!

The Butterflies are Coming - Don’t Miss Them!

My husband and I were devastated when we lost our twenty-four year old son,
Kevin, from a tragic accident in 2010. In the years following his death, as we
grieved, we were blessed to receive many signs from him. I firmly believe that
Kevin sent these signs to let us know he is happy on the other side as well as to
help us heal.

Afterlife signs in the form of butterflies are one of the most frequently reported
types of visits. Perhaps the reason for this is because of their symbolic
significance. The butterfly hatches as a caterpillar that eats voraciously for
several weeks and quickly grows unto a fat, long crawling bug. It then crawls up
to a safe surface and attaches firmly. As it hangs, its body forms a “J” shape that
soon becomes shrouded in a cocoon within a day or two. This has often been
thought of as symbolic of death. In the cocoon stage it neither eats nor drinks as
it hangs. The timing varies between species, but for the monarch it is ten to
fourteen days. Then, miraculously, the former caterpillar emerges as a fully
formed butterfly with no traces of its former appearance. It hangs for a few hours
allowing the wings to dry out and stretch before flying away as a new life form.
This transformation from one form of life to another has long been thought to
symbolize life after physical death.

The first sign we received was at our son’s graveside service. We handed out
twenty-four white balloons, one representing each year of his life. After the brief
service, we stepped out from under the canopy and released the balloons in
unison. At that exact moment, a beautiful monarch butterfly flew just over our
heads joining the balloons as they floated heavenward.

Throughout the first two years after his passing I experienced profound grief. I
was overwhelmed with both excessive crying as well as extreme anxiety. My
heart raced and I was unable to take a deep breath. Some months after losing
my son, as I was walking in our neighborhood, a small white butterfly caught my
eye. It was sitting in the dirt while wildly flapping its wings. I stopped to stare at
this inexplicable sight. As I watched, mesmerized, I realized that the wings were
beating at the same rate as my heart. While standing there, stupefied, it began to
gradually beat its wings slower and slower. That is when a powerful thought
came over me, “Mom, you need to calm down!” Then I noticed that my heart was
slowing in sync with the butterfly’s wings. Also, I was finally able to take a much
needed deep breath. That is when I realized what a wonderful gift my son had
just sent me.

Several months after burying our son, my husband, Joe, and I needed a
distraction and decided to take a road trip to Colorado. While there we took a
hike along a gently flowing waterfall. My husband suggested we get off the trail
and sit in order to enjoy the scenery. As we sat, a monarch butterfly appeared
just in front of us. The odd thing was that it repeatedly flew back and forth while
appearing to stare at us. This was such an odd behavior that it had our full
attention. After several minutes, the butterfly landed in the dirt a few feet away
and walked back and forth while continuing to stare at each of us. Now this was
getting really strange, especially as it kept this up for ten minutes before finally
flying away. My physicist husband looked at me and said, “Do you think that was
Kevin?” I replied, “Absolutely!”

A year later, we took a guided tour through the Northwest National parks,
including Butchart Gardens in British Columbia, Canada. While there we visited a
beautiful and lush butterfly garden nearby. My husband and I wandered around
on different paths. I spotted the most beautiful butterfly I had ever seen, a Blue
Morpho. This caught my interest because when its wings were closed it
resembled a large moth with black spots on its brown wings. However, the top
surface, which could be seen as it flew, was a gorgeous iridescent blue. I
desperately wanted to photograph the beauty of this magnificent creature but
every time it settled on a flower or piece of fruit it instantly closed its wings. After
thirty minutes of failed attempts, I gave up and told Joe about my frustration. He
frequently talks to our son in thought, so he asked him, ‘If you want, Kevin, would
you help mom get this picture?’ Ten seconds later, that same butterfly flew over
to us and landed on the front of Joe’s cargo pants. The butterfly opened his
wings and stayed there for over a full minute. I took both stills and video while
commenting, “This butterfly must really like you!” After it flew away my husband
revealed to me what he had asked Kevin to do. Tears of joy ran down my face as
I realized that this was yet another sign from our beloved son.

To me, each of these occurrences was beyond a coincidence as most were
contrary to the natural behavior of butterflies. There is no doubt in my mind that
these were signs from Kevin and as such, have given me tremendous solace and
healing. I think it is important for anyone grieving the loss of someone for whom
they have a strong love-bond to be open to, and be on the lookout for, signs they
might be sending. It also doesn’t hurt to ask for a sign, you just might be
pleasantly surprised.

About the Author

Linda Zelik is a retired Occupational Therapist and happy to be a grandmother to
her daughter’s two little girls. She recently published a book entitled, From
Despair to Hope, Survival Guide for Bereaved Parents. For more information go
to her web site,

Sep 30th 2019 Linda Zelik

Recent Posts

  • Ambushed


    Ambushed by the news, I dropped the receiver from the pay phone. My knees buckled and I was on the g …
    Feb 7th 2020 Elaine Leet
  • A New Year

    A New Year

    A New Year.Another year without those we love beside us.How can this be? How is it that time has the …
    Jan 31st 2020 Jennifer Stern