I believe in signs. Or at least I believe that believing makes the sad bits of life easier.
One could argue that you can see anything if you’re looking for it, willing it to be there, twisting it into what you need it to be. You could argue that and you might be right.
But yet here we are. Signs all around us, even when we’re not looking for them.
When my mother in law passed away she left a hole in our lives. As the years went by (it’s been two and half now) we filled the hole with time and memories.
Then this summer when my father in law sold his house and prepared to move out of the home he shared with his wife, where memories were made and her spirit was felt every time we walked through the door, the hole opened up a little. Sorting through her things brought up feelings. We felt her and missed her.
In an effort to simplify the move my father in law purged and pared down the contents of his home. He gave us their old patio table and chairs. This is the table where we ate dinner with our dear Grandie. Where we chatted and laughed and drank tea and ate chocolate biscuits from the tin.
When we set up the table and chairs on our deck and put up the umbrella my father in law and I stood next to it, neither of us sitting in her chair. Just then a Monarch Butterfly fluttered down and hovered over the table, just for a few seconds and then it was gone.
Grandie loved butterflies. She gave us a set of tea cups with brightly coloured butterflies etched on them. She gave my daughter a small jewelry box with a butterfly on it. Butterflies identified her while she was alive and they remind us of her now that she’s gone.
To end the summer my family spent the day at the Canadian National Exhibition. It was a beautiful sunny day and we felt happy, grateful for the time together. “Making some memories,” my husband said, smiling as he took my hand.
The four of us sat in front of the fountain for a family selfie—something we do every year. We squinted into the sun and snapped the shot. I didn’t look at it again until today as I uploaded my photos to my computer.
At first I thought there was something on my screen. A speck. But as I zoomed in, I saw it. Orange and black wings behind us as though it were posing for our photo.
As I sat staring at the image, my daughter came in carrying the butterfly jewelry box. She wanted to wear Grandie’s clip-on earrings. The timing was unreal. Why now? Why right as I was looking at this photo?
You could call it a sign. A sign that she’s watching over us. A sign that we’re still connected. You could call it sign, and that’s just what I’ll do.
Related: Life Lessons Learned From Loss