Inspirational Stories

Stories Contributed by Our Visitors:
January 2010 to Present
(Newest Items at Top of List)

Click HERE to give us your story

Angelo, Northbrook, IL
I just wanted to share this story: a few weeks ago in late May, early Tune, every afternoon when I would go out to the deck in the yard 3 young recently born butterflies would hover and play games with each other around me. One would always land on me repeatedly. This would happen everyday and mostly between 3 and 6 p.m. The one that always hung out with me would also see me in the kitchen window and fly to the glass in order to be close to me. Some days I would step out and it would be waiting for me on the sidewalk outside the back door. Today it was there but very not like itself - very lathargic. I picked it up and placed it in a palm tree in a vase for protection. I didn't see its two playmates or the large yellow butterfly that is usually with the three.

I dont know very much about them and have always loved them but I think it is dying or laying eggs?? Its colors are not as vivid as before. What amazes me is that it's chosen to be close to me in its last hours and has been in the palm for 10 hours and has not changed position. It is alive and when I place my finger near it, it will place its leg on my finger. I've grown fond of the litle one and wish I knew what it all meant.
Ruth Agor, Paranaque, PHILIPPINES
My mom died of a tumor in the brain. It was an unexpected death for us. After she was buried, one morning my father was attending to his daily service in our church when a butterfly came hovering around him. He told me the story and claimed that maybe it was my mom. Another day in the same week while I was teaching, the same butterfly as described by my father came inside the classroom and was hovering at me. I know my mom was just around and has started a new beginning. Another incident was during Mother's Day, the same butterfly came to our house and landed on the kitchen door. The kitchen is my mother's favorite place since she loves to cook. My birthday is the day before Mothers' Day and my father and mother's wedding anniversary is before my birthday. She came to our house to greet me, my dad and celebrated with us the three special days.
Maria Mousie, Austintown, OH
Well on May 20th, 2009 my cousin Mike passed away. Growing up, him and his two brothers Mike being the oldest) were very close to me and my older brother. We always were with each other but for some reason, I had always seemed to be the closest to Mike and just always told him that he was my favorite cousin. When he passed I was completely heartbroken and couldn't even process what had happened. It got a little easier as the year went by but not much. The whole year I kept counting down "one month since the day he died...5 months, 6 months,etc." And on the exact day that it has been a year since he passed all of his friends and family decided to meet at his grave to mourn his loss and just look back at the past. Well as I got out of the car to go meet everyone, I started walking and saw my brother sitting in his car. I walked over to talk to him and as I was in the middle of a sentence a huge orange and black butterfly comes diving towards me and smacks me in the head so hard that I bobbed my head back. Me and my brother just stare at each other like omg what just happened and busted out laughing. I didn't say anything but I was amazed because I have honestly never seen a butterfly in my life, especially one that large. I thought to myself that it was weird and maybe could've been a sign but paid no attention to it. I kept thinking about how weird it was and eventually told my mom about it (who wasn't there because she was still too tore up). She said that butterflies are a sign of life after death and that it means that a passed love one is with you. I then put it together and it all made sense, it was him. He was always picking on me just to make me smile and hitting me in the head like that is something he would do just to get a laugh out of me. I then found this website and I'm so glad I'm not the only one who experienced something like this that's so amazing. Now I know for sure that he's okay and that he's with me still
Tracy, London, Ontario, CANADA
I am a 36 year old wife & mother of two who woke up on May 26th, 2010 with severe anxiety. I tried to combat it with meditation & deep breathing...but with every moment that passed it got more intense. My husband was on vacation that week, but that day he was going out for his first golf round of the year. Very exciting, indeed. I didn't reveal my state to him, because I wanted him to go and enjoy himself. We have two small children: a girl who is almost 3, and a boy who just turned 1. When he left the house, I was sick to my stomach - literally. I was petrified that he was going to get into a car accident. I was getting worse. It was becoming very intense. The kids sensed it, and they were hysterical. As the minutes passed, I felt myself becoming less & less in control. I needed to see a doctor. ALL I could think about was that someone I loved was going to be hurt. It was overwhelming, and my heart was palpating uncontrollably. I was very scared.

I dropped my kids off at my Aunt's house, and proceeded to the hospital. Once there, I was quickly seen by the triage nurse, and then the doctor within a matter of minutes. After a few tears shed and a nice conversation, he prescribed me a few anti-anxiety pills....and I was on my way. I .was fine for the rest of the day, thanks to the meds.

The next day, I was painfully informed that my Grandmother (Nanny) had passed away in the night. She was peaceful. The Coroner suspects that the time of death was somewhere between Monday night & Tuesday morning. At that moment, I linked my anxiety to my Nanny’s death. Someone was channeling to me.

The next several days go by. I would have a good day, and then a bad day. Thank goodness for the meds that emergency Doc gave me.

We buried Nanny on Monday, May 31, 2010.

Today is June 1, 2010. I woke up anxious. My husband left the house very early, and was away on business for the night. I could feel the anxiety increasing. I got the kids feed & dressed and decided to take them to the park to feed the ducks. I thought some fresh air may (fingers crossed) do me some good. We ended up walking for 2 hours. If that didn't help me, then I had previously decided that I'd have to go back to the hospital. I am not willing to live this way. It’s very frightening.

On the home stretch of our walk, a yellow butterfly darted at me. It literally cut me off. It was about 3 inches from my face, and proceeded to dance around beside me. I stopped. I watched. It flew away. I looked up into the sky and cried. My anxiety was completely gone.

We came home. I felt better than I have in months. Lighter, happier & peaceful. I was smiling. I fed the kids lunch and put them down for their nap.

While they slept, I went out onto my back deck. My husband called to see how I was doing (he was a wee bit concerned, based on my behaviour over the past 6 days). While describing to him my beautiful butterfly moment while on the walk this morning, another butterfly flew straight at me. I was in shock. I ran into the house and grabbed our camera. This beautiful yellow butterfly stayed on my dogwood bush for at least 5 minutes, and allowed me to take several shots of her.

I now feel completely at peace. I feel loved, watched over, and I can honestly say that today, June 1, 2010, is the day that I truly believe in God. May you Rest in Peace Nanny. I love you
Lauren, Abergele, UK
Hi there, I work in a primary school with the ages 3-5 years old. We recently set free our butterflies and here.s the story. One day we had a special delivery from our postman. He had a little box and all the children were amazed and excited to see what was inside. We opened the box and there were 7 little caterpillars no bigger than my little finger nail. We watched them grow bigger and bigger over the next 2 weeks, then one day something amazing happened. They spun and spun really fast to turn into their chrysalises. Sadly the day after when I arrived at work and checked on them, 2 had fallen off the lid and were on the bottom of the pot. (I really didn't think that it would survive).

Two weeks later they emergered all 7 of them, even the ones I thought were dead. It was amazing. The best thing I have ever seen. After a couple of days we decided to release them because we thought it was cruel. We took the children onto the playground and set the butterflies free, only one seemed not to want to budge. The children each had a turn holding it and then it flew away.

We took lots of pictures and we have decide to re-do the whole process with more. I have always loved butterflies so it was a lovely experience for me, never mind the children.
Katie, Leeds, West Yorkshire, ENGLAND
A family friend died and I was at his funeral. when the priest was doing his readings, a beautiful light came though the church window and our eyes were drawn to the casket where a beautiful butterfly was flying around. Everyone at the end of mass was talking how they had noticed it and felt it very significant. It was a true sign from him God. Love you, you were a special man, love always
Keion Alexis, San Juan, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
A word keeps popping up in my head - transformation. What does it mean? But its when I saw the status of one of my friends I realised what it meant. As a catepillar transforms into a butterfly so a boy becomes a man, takes a wife, becomes a farther as a girl becomes a woman takes a husband becomes a mother. at a point in time we must all transform. And to understand that when our eyes are truly opened we would see that the straight line of life is really a circle.
Juliet TeRangipikitia Rameka, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, NEW ZEALAND AOTEAROA.
Thank you for butterflies. I recently lost my beloved husband of 40 years. We had been taking care of our 7 grandchildren for the last 5yrs 6 grandsons and 1 granddaughter ages are now 19yrs to 7yrs they are 2yrs apart. My beloved had been diagnosed with copd a lung disease 3yrs ago so we moved into town with our grandkids close to the hospital and into a 5 bedroom home. With the support and help of family friends and many others we were able to cope. He passed away on the 1st of March this year. After his Tangi funeral he was laid to rest within their Urupa cemetary. One week later we went down to the warehouse to purchase flowers etc to take up to the Urupa but instead of flowers there was all these colourful butterflies so we purchased 6 of them they where on rods so we stuck them on his resting place. They looked lovely.

Well just the other day I was feeling down and just had a argument with my grandson and feeling as if my whole world was collapsing around me this monarch butterfly flew down to where I was sitting which was under our front porch hovered around in front of me and landed at my feet. It then rose again. I said what do you want. Still feeling lonely and upset I went back inside, later that evening I went outside and then ping the penny dropped It was my beloved. Wow how absolutely amazing was that by the way. My grandson and Iare fine, all is well guess what I made a golden butterfly and stuck it to a framed photo of him to remind me that miracles are real and we do meet angels everyday. Kia ora koutou be well, Juliet.
Mark Jerome Fajardo, USA
My name is Mark Jerome Fajardo, 21 years old. My grandmother passed away last May 18, 2010 at around 9:20AM due to breast cancer. My relatives told me that a few days ago before she died, she was calling my name and was looking for me. I was supposed to visit her last May 17, 2010 but I wasn't able to go visit her because of some circumstances. So I decided to just visit her the next day. My plan was to go to work and then, head straight to her house. While I was at work, I kept on sending text messages to my cousins asking about my grandmother but they are not replying to my messages so I decided to call but again, no one's answering so I had this feeling that something is going on.

At around 9:30AM, we got a message from my cousins tellling me that my grandmother is gone. It didn't sink in right away. I even thought of it as a joke and laughed for a while. But when I realized that it's really not a joke, tears started to fell from my eyes. I was in pain at that moment because I wasn't expecting that to happen. It was so sudden. I was supposed to end my shift at 11AM but left at around 10AM. My partner and I rushed to our family's place in Fairview. I rushed to her bedroom. I saw my relatives there and my grandmother lying on her bed. I cried. Few words came out from me and said "You didn't wait for me". I held her hand tight and spoke to her in my mind. I told her that I am very thankful that God gave her to me and I also told her how much I love her. On that day, tears filled the entire house.

I sadly left the house, still with tears in my eyes. My partner and I went home very sad. While at home, I can't help but remember my grandmother and all the things she did for me. I have been grieving so deep since that day. I went on to sleep because I still have work later that night.

May 19, 2010 I woke up with my eyes full of tears. I still can't believe and I don't wanna be believe that she's gone. It all happened so fast but I have to accept the fact that she is indeed, gone. I have no plans of going to work because I am emotionally not okay. But I have to so I went on to work, did my best to forget just for a while so I would be able to work properly. But no matter how hard I try to forget, I can't help but remember my grandmother. After work, at around 11 in the morning, we headed on to St. Peter Chapel in Quezon Avenue. We waited for my grandmother's remains and had a small talk with my relatives. Around 1:00PM, my lola's remains arrived. We waited until they were able to open the coffin. I saw her once again, and from that moment, I started crying. I don't wanna see her inside that coffin. I want her beside me. I want to sing her a song. I want to do those things that we used to do back when she was still alive. I talked to her in my mind. It was like a dream, it was like a nightmare but it's not. Then, I told myself, if this is just a dream, I would like this dream to end, I would want to wake up and never go back to sleep... but it's not. We went out for a couple of minutes to smoke with my cousins. Still, I don't feel well. Everytime I see her inside the coffin, tears are falling from my eyes. before we left the chapel, I said goodbye to her and that we'll back the next day.

When we arrived home, my partner went to sleep and I, who was supposed to be sleeping, was crying. Praying that my lola (grandmother) will show up in my dreams so I could talk to her and tell her the things I wanted to say. I also remembered and reminisced the moments I had with her. It was very painful on my part to lose someone like her.

May 20, 2010 I woke up and went to work with my partner. I am still not okay. I don't wanna go to work but I have to. I am so much in pain and grieving deeply for losing her. My shift starts at 2:00AM but we arrived 2 hours earlier so I decided to go down and have a smoke with a friend so I can share how I feel. We were looking for some friend when suddenly, a big brown and white butterfly (Mariposa) showed up to me. The butterfly or Mariposa, as it is called here in the Philippines, circled up on me twice. The first thing I remembered is, of course, my granny. I knew she was my granny. It somehow made me smile. I haven't seen such a big butterfly or any butterflies for quite sometime now. So I thought, maybe she wanted me to know that she is now okay, and that she will always be with me and my family. It somehow made me realize that it's better because her suffering has ended. She will no longer feel the pain of having such a disease. The butterfly showing up on me made the burden lighter. The pain is still here. The tears are still in my eyes. But even though the grief is still here, a smile behind those tears have been somehow revealed, knowing that my granny is now in heaven with God. I hope that you will always guide us, that you will always be there for us to protect and care for us, Mamay. We love you so much and we will surely miss you. You will forever be in my heart and will never be forgotten. I love you so much, Mamay!
Pia, Atlanta, GA
My daughter and I were outside enjoying a beautiful Sunny Sunday afternoon.

We saw many butterflies flying around in our back yard but did not pay much attention to them. There was one in particular that stood out it was blue and very, very small :-) My seven year old and I got close to each other to talk. The butterfly followed. Both of us were amazed when I put my hand out it sat on my hand allowing us to watch it from close up!! She held out her hand hesitating slightly so the butterfly flew closer to her but did not land on her hand. This was a short moment felt like a long time of serenity. I saw my daughter's eyes lighten up with an amazing insight of her awareness as she spent this precious moment. I also saw her hesitation and her wondering what triggered the butterfly to land on my hand ... life is beautiful.

Thank you!
Steph C., Covington, LA
My daughters Amy-8 and Theresa-6 received a Painted Lady Butterfly Kit from their Aunt Cathy for Christmas. They had never done anything like this before so they were extremely excited. Each day before and after school and before bedtime they would check on the growth of their caterpillars. Amy even logged the daily events of the caterpillars in her journal. When the caterpillars crawled to the top of the cup to form their chrysalids we all kept an even closer eye on them.

One night after my girls were in bed I noticed one of the caterpillars shaking and becoming larger, I called up to my girls to come watch. We watched this tiny caterpillar take on a whole new form. It took her about 30 minutes to wrap herself in the chrysalis, taking multiple breaks to rest. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen.

We had marked our calendar at the begining to keep a timeline of their amazing journey. My girls talked to the caterpillars and offered words of encouragement while they were undergoing their amazing transformation. They would say such things as "You can do it", "You will be so beautiful when you come out". They talked to the caterpillars just as others talk to their cats and dogs. It was very heartwarming for me to watch. Just as we were told 7-10 days after the caterpillars were snug in their chrysalids they began to emerge. We had received 10 larva total and were told usually only 3 out of 5 survive. 9 out of the 10 formed a chrysalid and all 9 emerged as butterflies.

Now here is the sad but joyful part of the story. The first butterfly to emerge got stuck and his wings were not able to open therefore hardening close to his body. His little face was not able form correctly either. We saw him lying on the bottom of the habitat and thought for sure he was dead. The others had now emerged and seemed to all be healthy. The next day I was going to remove the deformed one when I noticed he was in a different spot and I could see his little leg moving. I kept him in the habitat and made sure he was next to a flower at all times. After about a week my girls decided to let them out (we kept the one that had not formed all the way in the habitat). All the butterflies flew out, with a little coaxing of coarse, except for one. Amy, my 8 yr old, put her hand in the habitat and the butterfly climed onto her finger. It would not fly away. She walked around for about 30 minutes with it on her finger. She named her Maria and has been taking care of her since that day. She feeds, talks, and takes Maria for walks everyday. I noticed that Maria is missing one of the bulbs on the end of one of her antenna, which controls her balance, which is why she won't fly away. The butterfly that did not form all the way is still alive as well. It has been approx 2 1/2 wks since they emerged. Theresa, my 6 yr old as well as myself have been taking care of him. She named him David. Each morning I take the syringe and feed him some sugar water. It amazes me that this little creature is still living. I have worked with special needs preschoolers so I guess that is why I wouldn't give up on this little guy.

Our lives are so busy and so fast paced that we don't notice the little things that God has given us until they are put right in front of us. I had never given any part of nature a second glance before I was given the chance to take care of one of God's smallest creatures. Now I take the time to notice all the wonderful creatures He has put before us and all of the nature that exist along with them. Sometimes it pays to "Stop And Smell The Roses"!!!!
Barb Smeltzer, Brampton, ON, CANADA
My father passed away on March 21, 2010 in Calgary after a brief journey with cancer. I loved my father so much, we were very close. We traveled together and talked on the phone at least twice a day. His passing has left a permanent void in my heart.

A week after I was visiting my relatives in northern Alberta. The temperature was still cool as it was only a week after the official start of spring. On my second day there I went for a walk.

When I arrived back home I sat on the front step, thinking about my Dad and feeling quite sad. Within a minute or so, I looked up to see a butterfly on the other side of the fence. It flew over to me, around my head for a bit, then settled near by. I thought how nice, maybe it is a sign my Dad is around. The butterfly then flew up again, this time resting for quite awhile on my left side by a flower before flying off.

I looked up the meaning of butterflies and found this site. It brought much comfort to me. The next day I went out for walk by the lake, different time and place. I started thinking about Dad again. In my mind I called out for him to show me a sign he was still here. Within moments the same type of butterfly appeared.

It rested on a rock while I watched it. When I got up to continue walking it followed me down the path. I took a picture of it as some people didn't believe me when I said I saw a butterfly at that time of year.

The next day I walked on the path again hoping to encounter the butterfly once more. Within moments of thinking about my Dad the same type appeared. But this time it joined up with two more before they all flew away.

I feel it might have been a sign from my Dad saying he was with his Mom and Dad and he was okay. Those experiences helped me feel comforted when I needed it the most.
Helen, Long Island, NY
Our son was killed in a jet that he was piloting as a member of the US Air Force. He was an excellent pilot and it grieved us terribly, wondering how did this happen. One day, several months after his passing, I noticed a swallowtail on a small plant near my deck, very close to our door. It sat there for hours, and allowed me to take pictures of it and approach it to within an inch.

Not knowing the significance of butterflies, I looked it up and realized that this could be our son, letting us know he was alright. It has helped the agony of losing our son, at his prime, with such a zest for life and learning. Now he is free to soar forever.
Mike, Miami, FL
I was thanking God for everything he did and out of nowhere a yellow butterfly comes and stays for a little moment then comes back. It was the brightest yellow I've ever seen in my life.
Queene, Salem, OR
My grandmother died 27years ago and at the cemetery my grandfather's grave was approx 5 feet away from my grandmother's. There were 2 white butterflies flying up to the sky together and when my sister was getting married she was getting dressed and we never did figure out how this white butterfly was able to cross the curtain and surround my sister heart. That was grandma.

We had a family gathering one year at my mom's great nephew house and there was a white butterfly just sitting and watching; it was very cool. She's always with us and she will of course never be forgotten.

There was one year I was looking out the back yard window and I saw 3 white butterfies playing together. They changed direction as one went towards the fence, one went towards the house and the other went another direction where it looked like a diamond. You just had to see the beauty and grace of the nature of the butterfly.

The beauty of a butterfly
shows how gracious
it can be as it shows off
its colors
as having a butterfly in a warming area of your home gives you a creation of having someone that had passed join home with you again.

a butterfy is a natural spirit of freedom
as it tends to show our new path and journey of direction.
Marlena, Horsham, PA
The summer of 2001 changed my life completely. I was 16 years old and a runaway with my boyfriend who was 18 at the time. We were running away because no one in our familes wanted us to be together. On July 15 2001 he had robbed a cab driver and was hit by an 18 wheeler tractor trailer while running from the police. I was traumatized. The day before the funeral I was sitting on my porch reading the bible and praying to God for a sign that my boyfriend knows that I love him and will never forget him and right after that a butterfly came up and landed right on the page of the bible and I knew in my heart that it was him and when I found out later butterflies represent a new beginning of life after a corrupt death I just knew for sure that he was there that day on the porch. And ever since then I've seens hundreds of signs. And I'm truly comforted by them. I feel like my soul is surrounded by butterflies and that I am protected by them. Aren't they beautiful??
Fiona, Dublin, IRELAND
My mam died the 1st March 2006. A few days after she was buried a beautiful butterfly came into my bedroom and stayed with me for a period of time, I felt it was my Mother letting me know that she was free and happy now. In May 2009, while on holidays, I asked God to please send me a butterfLy to let me know that mam was okay. Within 10 seconds a small white butterfly appeared from nowhere. This confirmed for me that butterflies are indeed special, and will always hold a place in my heart, so much so that the theme of my wedding this summer will be butterflies.
Sheila Coggan, Nottinghamshire, ENGLAND
My husband passed away in October 2007. My daughter and I went to buy two flowering bushes to plant in the garden, along with his ashes. My daughter was digging the holes in which to plant the bushes when a beautiful butterfly settled on her shoulder. As she stood back to make sure the holes were large enough to receive the plants, the butterfly flew from her shoulder and landed on mine. It stayed there then flew back and settled on my daughter. The butterfly did this the whole time we were planting the bushes. When the bushes were firmly in the ground, along with my late husband's ashes, the butterfly circled in and out of the bushes then did one more circle over our heads and flew away. Neither of us have ever seen this type of coloured butterfly in the last 2½ years but when I go into the garden to look at the place where the bushes are now flowering healthily, I can guarantee a butterfly will be there flying round and round. The butterflies which hover round the bushes though are not the same colour as the one which came to visit us the day we planted them. I believe there is a huge significance between the loss of a loved one and the sight of a butterfly.
Tara Martin, Cincinnati, OH
I was 31 years old! I lost my Father in October of 2005 to lung cancer! He was my hero. My life! I cursed God's name. I swore I would never believe again - in anything, God or humans! My Father was gone! I was alone, I was sure NOBODY could relate! I was sure NOBODY had ever lost their Father and even if they had it was surely not as devastating as my loss! Self-pity was the order of the day!

As I was traveling from my Mother's home to my home to gather my things for the funeral, I was in my car with slits for eyes from the crying and wailing and I took the "scenic" route for this hour and a half journey. As I was busy cursing God's name - I started to see all these tiny white butterflies in the fields on the road I was traveling on. Hundreds of them in some spots. I was bewildered.

As I arrived home one single white butterfly accompanied me to the door! I paced and headed back and this time took a different route and low and behold those same tiny white butterflies everywhere. I am a recovering alcoholic and my program teaches me that God does for me what I could not do for myself! To this day, 4 and a half years later, those same tiny white butterflies magically show up when I'm sad, when I'm hurting, when I need my Father the most. What I have come to believe is that those tiny white butterflies are God doing for me what I could not do for myself! His gentle way of reminding me I am not alone and that the sight of them bring me such comfort! My Buddhist nail technician said "they are your Dad"! The comfort is unbelievable and I have a relationship with God today as I never had in my life! Tiny white butterflies - from death to life!
Ashley Rudd, Stockbridge, GA
One of my best friends died September 1st and the day of his funeral we all went back to his house and I was sitting in the backyard by myself and I looked over towards the pool where we had spent all summer together and I saw these two yellow butterflies just flying around and I just remember sitting there mesmerized by how they were just so beautiful flying around in circles. I went back over to his house a couple weeks later and I saw this drawing that another one of his friends had drawn for a tattoo and it was of a yellow butterfly. Apparently she had been seeing them around too and when I asked his mom about it she told me that she had been seeing them too flying all around their yard.
Melody Tiempo, Caloocan City, PHILIPPINES
I really love butterflies. I used to love them since my best friend gave me a gift which is a butterfly. Our relationship as best friend is still going strong because of butterflies. It symbolizes our friendship, and I am hoping that it will last and no one can break our friendship because like a butterfly I maybe die when someone stole him from me.
Sue Allen, Warwickshire, GREAT BRITAIN
Hi my name is Sue. My daughter committed suicide on 25th December at the age of 27 in 2008. I wanted a tattoo in memory of her but I couldn't make my mind up what to have, then a friend said to me one day why don't you have a butterfly. She's flying free and they are brightly coloured and they are all around you in the summer. So that's what I had done with her name in the middle of it. After I had it done I always saw a butterfly wherever I went. It was as if she was telling me that she was there with me and she liked what I had done. I have many things that have butterflies on them - books, bags, purses and folders, necklaces and earrings and keyrings. When I buy them I just feel close to her. It may sound funny to other people but it comforts me. So that is my story.
Alistair, Inverness, UK
My wife felt tired on the evening of Friday 4 Dec. 2009 after coming home from work. This was unusual as she followed all the rules of healthy living, gym memberships, swam regularly and ate only healthy meals. By Saturday she was exhausted even climbing the stairs and doing simple tasks. We visited the local hospital emergency department where they diagnosed a kidney infection and gave her antibiotics. By Sunday morning her eyes and skin had taken on a yellow tint and she was unable to perform simple physical tasks. On Monday we visited our GP and she did bloods promising results by Wednesday, however she called on Monday evening and asked me to admit her to hospital within 1 hour.

Over the next 48 hours they had diagnosed advanced pancreatic and liver cancer which had been masked by her high fitness level.

Unfortunately her decline was rapid and she passed away on 21 December. This was the breaking of what was a close family chain. I was privileged to be there holding her hand when she passed.

The funeral was held on the 29th December and the church was almost unable to hold all the people who turned up to pay their respects. It was late December -3.5 degrees outside with deep snow and as is normal the church was not so warm. As the minister stood up to start the funeral service a butterfly flew around the church several times to the astonishment of the mourners, then vanished. The minister explained the significance of a butterfly which is the symbol of the resurrection during the Easter celebration. We as a family take great comfort that she was there with us at the service and is waiting to link the family chain again when we are eventually called one by one.
Eveline, Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
I have to warn you that this is not your usual inspirational butterfly story, I haven't lost a friend or relative recently, and no one is particularly sick either.

This story may inspire you because of a small butterfly's will to be a "normal" member of its species.

My neighbours sometimes jokingly call me the "butterfly whisperer" and I find that fun. Here in New Zealand we don't have a lot of big or colourful butterflies so I have fallen in love with the exotic Monarchs and grow lots of swan plants to attract them to my summer garden. We have a lot of trouble to get these fabulous creatures from egg to air-born beauty because of predatory wasps which kill and fly off with caterpillars both large and small - they even attack the chrysalises!

On this particular sunny morning, I kept an eye on one of my darkened chrysalises which was ready to emerge. So few had made it to this stage and I was so pleased for this particular one. I went off to attend to some other task and when I returned minutes later the butterfly was out but had fallen to the ground. I was stricken to see that a wasp was on it and had bitten its still-soft wing. I chased away the wasp, but could see that my butterfly had been wounded. I coaxed him back on to his branch where he could continue to pump and dry his wings but I wondered if it would have been kinder to kill him there and then - I decided to wait and see.

It turned out that one of my butterfly's four wings could not develop, in short, he was a 'butter' with no 'fly'. He was so perfect in all other ways that I decided to let him live.

For the next two weeks I moved him from bright flower to bright flower but in periodically trying to get himself airborne, he fluttered on the groung quite a bit and his wings slowly became more and more tattered as aging wings do. When my butterfly saw his friends flying overhead, he flashed his welcome. On one particular day, his invitation was accepted and a lady came down and appeared to mate with him. Under normal circumstances the female would join with him and she would fly off with him attached for a length of time. Now this did not happen, I will not lie, but it would have been fantastic wouldn't it? It was a bone fide date though and I was so happy for him - at least he got the thrill of that experience!

Well, I didn't see him for a couple of days and then I found his little body under a bush and buried him under his mother swan plant.

You can make of this story what you will, but it made me happy to see this little butterfly try to be a fully paid-up member of his society despite his disability.
Terry, The Woodlands, TX
When my mother passed away in 2006 at the graveside service a large butterfly flew over her casket the entire time the minister was speaking. Afterwards my sisters spoke of noticing this.

On the way back home (several states away) small yellow butterflies would fly in front of our windshield. At home for weeks every time I stepped out the front door the same small yellow butterflies would fly near me sometimes right in my face.

One day about a month after Mom's death I was speaking with a neighbor at the curb telling her Mom had passed away. A large butterfly like the one which had flown over her casket lighted on my arm and stayed there as I spoke to the neighbor.

Many times in the years since my mom has passed when I am distressed about something a butterfly will fly right in front of my face and light on a shrub nearby.

A few years before Mom passed away she had given all her daughters a small, inexpensive glass butterfly container. I just stuck mine away in a drawer. At the time I had no idea Mom liked butterflies and the little container really didn't mean much to me. Much later after the live butterfly happenings I noticed Mom had butterfly motifs in both her bathrooms - not that unusual, I guess, but between that and the butterfly container I began to realize something.

That's when I did some research on the butterfly symbol. I had never realized its significance of resurrection. Mom was a Christian and I think when she died that she asked God to use that symbol to send us a message that she is okay and that she sees us from time to time. I think that she believes we will realize that the symbol meant something to her and we will know that the real butterflies are a message from her to us.
Jolene, Wailuku, HI
I believe my Grandma comes to visit us, in the form of a Beautiful Monarch Butterfly. Every day when I pick up my children from school, I will see many butterflies, and often one will fly right across real close in front of our car window. At different parks, we will see her and when we were at one park one day, I was feeling a bit down, and a butterfly flew all around me. My daughter exclaimed, "Mommy, did you see that butterfly flying around you?" "That's Great Grandma!" I replied. Just recently at a swimming pool, a beautiful monarch flew right around my daughter and right above her, just skimming her head! Grace often tells me, "I saw Great Grandma today at school!" We feel comfort and peace, when Grandma comes to visit us in butterfly form, and feel her presence and love, guidance and help, every day in our lives. Thank you, for letting me share our story!