Thirteen years ago, today, my older brother (Eddie) passed away. He had cystic fibrosis and was listed for a double lung transplant. Sadly, he never made it to transplant and the Thanksgiving holiday that year was somber. Eddie faced a lot of struggles in his short 32-year life, especially breathing. There were things he struggled with that just should not have been.
It was through my loss that I discovered the joy and peace of creating handcrafted beaded jewelry, especially awareness jewelry pieces that have touched so many lives, across the globe. In fact, the butterfly has become a signature of my organ transplant awareness bracelets.
The butterfly is a symbol of lung transplant because it has been said that when newly transplant lungs take their first breathe, it’s like seeing a butterfly opening its wings as the lungs fill with air.
I have also heard that when you see a butterfly it is the spirit of your loved one coming back to you as a beautiful butterfly.
So imagine my surprise when, at work today, I happened to find a very large monarch butterfly in a coworkers office. What makes this so strange is the fact that there just is no way it could have gotten in there. And of all the things…a butterfly.
But, it doesn’t end there. The office I found this butterfly in happened to be the office of a coworker who had recently passed away after being diagnosed with cancer. I also had worked with this coworker for thirteen years -he was hired in the same year my brother passed away, in fact, only a month after I was hired.
I don’t know if this butterfly was a symbol of my coworker or of my brother. But when I realized what day is was, where I found the butterfly, that it was at work….the hair on my arms stood straight up.
Regardless of who it was, it filled my heart and gave me peace. After snapping quite a few pictures of this beautiful butterfly, I released it outside. I may have watched it fly away but it will always be in my heart.
Have you had an experience with a butterfly? Or believed a loved one had come back to visit you? Please share. I’d love to hear your story.