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I have always liked butterflies, I mean, who doesn’t?  They’re pretty and it’s fun to watch them flit around flowers.

The meaning of the butterfly changed for us completely when a Butterfly was hung on Gigi’s door.  I can still picture it – up in the right had corner, in a place where everyone could see it.

It was a like a beautiful scream.

As in, a notification for the CCU floor that Gigi would not be with us much longer. The nurses, doctors, staff and other patients all knew what this meant.  No one had to say it out loud.

As soon as anyone noticed the butterfly they would stop in our room with tears in their eyes.  They’d say their goodbye to Gigi and give us loving hugs.  It was crazy to think that these lovely people we spent all day and all night with for 11 days would no longer physically exist in our lives.

The grief of losing Gigi was crazy intense and many times it was hard to breathe.

The butterfly became a symbol of transformation for us.  A symbol of hope.  A way to feel continually connected to Gigi.  It was also an image that calmed me down during those times that I couldn’t breathe or didn’t know how I would get through the day.

In time we found that it was also a lovely way for our friends and family to tell us they were thinking about Gigi and about us.  We still receive texts when people spot butterflies and are thinking of Gigi.  We have butterflies all over our house that were gifted to us by our loving support system.

In these four years I’ve learned TONS about the Monarch butterfly and I love donating to help keep them here on earth.  I raise Monarch caterpillars into butterflies and I have done a few swallowtails.  I usually release about 40 Monarchs each summer.  =)

In these four years I have taken many, many photos of butterflies.  On Gigi’s birthday we always go to the Morton Arboretum and I hunt for butterflies.  I also love walking out my front door to be greeted by the butterflies in my garden.  All of the photography you see on this site are not only pictures of butterflies, but actually part of my healing journey using photography.

So there it is!

What are your thoughts on the butterfly?

Better yet, if you have a symbol that helps you get through the day and remember your loved one, please share it in the comments!

Butterfly quotes

Just when the caterpillar thought her life was over.  She began to Fly.


Whisper I love you to a butterfly and it will fly to heave to deliver your message.


We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
-Maya Angelou


Butterflies are self propelled flowers
-R.H. Heinlein


A butterfly symbolized acceptance of each new phase in life.  To keep faith as everything around you changed.
-Lisa Kleypas


Perhaps the butterfly is proof that you can go through a great deal of darkness and still become something beautiful.

The butterfly is a symbol of hope,

the symbol of new life and

the symbol of those who are bereaved.

Before it becomes a butterfly though,

it must spend time in a cocoon.

We have to grieve, hurt, be angry, and

struggle to free ourselves from the cocoon of grief.

And one day we do emerge

-a beautiful butterfly

a stronger person,

a more compassionate person,

a more understanding person.



  • Marcella Frustaci says:

    This is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing and for all you have done and continue to do to help others while on your grief journey. You, my friend, are a rare, special, beautiful human. Love and hugs.

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