In a couple of days I’m starting a new tradition of marking all these April dates by making an annual pilgrimage to see the Butterflies in Bloom exhibit which is always in town this time of the year---to do something life affirming and symbolic of the cycle of all living things. What could be more life affirming than to sit among 6,000 butterflies hatching and flying free in the conservatory? They say if you sit very quiet the butterflies will land on you and you can feel the whisper of air from their wings when they take off again. I want to do something positive and uplifting like this to honor the lives that are gone instead of me mourning the hollow place their absence---especially Don’s---leaves behind. I might not achieve that goal this year, but in the years to come I will.
Grief is grief and it takes however long it takes, but for me it helps to have an exit plan like this for leaving the grieving path behind. I want to remember Don, Mom and Dad with a joyful heart, not a tear-stained face. They were all good, caring people. My dad, my sweet and wise father who is never far from my thoughts. So much of my world view came from him. My mom who taught me to be strong and independent. My loyal and loving husband who taught me that love is patient and full of laughter. By next April I will be joyful and celebrate that I had them all in my life for as long as I did. But this year, I cry for me. I cry for Don. This year I see the ugliest of all cocoons---grief---but I know it holds the promise that from it will emerge the most beautiful of all butterflies…. spiritual and physical healing. ©