By Marti Jo Christner
I was sitting alone in the garden this morning watching this butterfly happily flitting from flower to flower.
I felt compelled to take a picture of her beauty.
When I got closer, I noticed that she was faded and a bit broken.
And yet, there she was so happily pollinating each little pink flower.
Such a Reflection of Life. Carry on, beautiful, broken butterfly, carry on.
By Jo Christner, Psy.D.
When I received this text from my niece, it truly touched my Soul, my sadness as well as my sense of respect and admiration. It reminded me of all of the beautiful “butterflies,” the grievers who have joined our grief groups over 41 years. They, too, feel so broken, faded and lost. Together, they learn to slowly move forward into their lives.
Life is so changed when your spouse dies. Life is also so changed when your parent dies. Grieving is natural but it is not easy. It takes courage. I have often said to our groups, “You are the courageous ones. You are here and doing your grief work.” It’s not where they want to be… and yet, they come. Their courage to join a group of strangers is amazing… and watching them become friends at such a deep level is beautiful. The group members share their pain with each other, cry together and laugh together. They share their life story, their love and their sorrows. They begin to redefine and create the new life that is waiting for them at the end of that long gray tunnel.
It’s amazing and sacred to be on this vulnerable journey with them as they struggle to find themselves without their loved one.
Thank you for the honor of working with all of you in your pain and your healing. Carry On, Beautiful Butterflies, Carry On…