Tuesday, April 17, 2012

When a Butterfly Dies

My Kayla – 6 years old – so full of life and creativity and imagination – full of wonder and love and passion for all things – today she watched a butterfly die.

We were at Target of all places – parked next to where a butterfly lay on the pavement – flapping its wings – trying to find its way. Kayla wanted to pick it up and maybe I should have let her – she could have put it in the grass…

Picture taken from http://www.butterflypictures.net/5-butterfly-pictures.html.

We went inside for about 30 minutes and came back out and the butterfly was still there – not a good sign. I think she mistook the wings blowing in the breeze to mean that it was still alive, but it was not.

Suddenly she realized that it was dead. She cried out in a loud voice, “Mommy, the butterfly is dead, it’s dead!” She started to sob. I tried to comfort her – hugging her, telling her it was going to be alright…but scarcely believing the words myself.

She put the butterfly in the soft grass. We knelt down with it and prayed that God would see the butterfly and know how special it was and that he would somehow give us peace even though such a beautiful thing was gone.

We got into the car and the questions overflowed with her streaming tears. “Why did it have to die, Momma? It was so young and beautiful.” My throat chokes, I search for words, none come. “I don’t know, “ I say softly.

“Why did it have to die, why, momma, why?” This same question over and over – ringing in my ears, I can barely take the pain in my heart.

I croak out the words that I can’t shake out of my mind, “We all die someday.”

“But it should have lived and had baby butterflies. It should have lived.”

All I can think is the same thing that she can’t let go of – “Yes, we should live – we should live forever.”

After the painful silence I can only manage to say, “God knows what happened to the butterfly. Somehow it will be OK.”

Inside my mind is screaming and reeling with the anger and knowing that we were meant to live forever, but this curse over us prevents us from living forever as God designed us. Yes, it makes no sense – especially in my sweet little girl’s mind. It should never make sense in any of our minds – death – it isn’t what we were meant to do.

Later on we are outside at home – a butterfly swirls around and around Kayla – the exact same type and coloring as the one that died. It circles her over and over as if to say, “I’m OK – God is watching over me.” She lifts her eyes to the heavens and watches it fly away.

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