Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The Irony of Butterflies

We've not known each other very long but did I ever tell you that I'm scared of butterflies? When I say scared I mean I can't be in the same room as one. I've never enjoyed their company and have tried numerous times over the years to engage with them - butterfly houses, fields and gardens, the tattoos plastered over the nation, but no. They still scare me. 

Why?

A butterfly is beautiful. It is delicate and unique. Emerging from a much less beautiful position from its chrysalis or cocoon (however sciencey you are) into a new world. The smaller they are the shorter their lifespan and the butterflies we see in everyday life in our gardens, usually live for around a week.

But I think it's their wings that scare me. Flapping so rapidly with such determination. I remember when I was around 8 years old my aunty having a panic attack trying to guide one out of a window as it furiously beat its wings to remain in the house. This butterfly did not want to go outside into the fresh air. My aunty was screaming with fear and I watched on in disbelief as someone in their late 30s went into melt down over an extremely beautiful creature the size of an old 50p coin. I genuinely could not get my head around what was unfolding in front of me, and I still can't, but I'm sure from this event comes my fear. Their wings beat so extremely quickly and it's almost unfathomable  how something so small can have so much power and also cause such immeasurable feelings. 

Did you also know that butterflies are different from moths in their search for light? Before humankind and artificial lights, they both used the natural lights in our sky to navigate. Most interestingly they navigated at night using the light of the moon. If they flew towards the moon then they'd always go in the right direction, or something similar. Nowadays moths are attracted to lampshades and ceiling roses but have you noticed that butterflies aren't? They still seek the natural lights. Time has not changed them. They refuse to conform. So much power.

I don't really know what I'm talking about, or maybe I do, but quite frankly I don't give a shit. I can't judge myself, that is unfair. Now breathe, pause, shut your eyes and then reopen. 

I've avoided butterflies in my life, actively in all ways possible. Not too dissimilar to my avoidance of pink. But since the darkest time of my life began last week, I have received 3 butterflies. One in the form of a blanket, one in the form of a bracelet and one in the form of words....

"A butterfly lights beside us, like a sunbeam....and for a brief moment it's glory and beauty belong to our world....but then it flies on again, and although we wish it could have stayed, we are so thankful to have seen it at all." Author unknown. 

This is all I can say right now. I know you want more and you want to find some peace in what I'm saying to you. I know you want that. I know. 

The only other thing I can say is that your words to us are so gratefully received. They do more than you know. So I thank you for that. Funnily enough I'm all about words and words is all I have right now. Words is all I can do.

Do you know what? People are amazing. They amaze me. I'm amazed. 

And to the next butterfly I meet...you no longer scare me. In fact I can't wait to see you. 

31 comments:

  1. You are still constantly in our thoughts. Love to you all from the #BBB xxx

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  2. You are still constantly in our thoughts. Love to you all from the #BBB xxx

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  3. It is not those that comment who are amazing....you are! I am in awe of your strength! Keep going...you may falter occasionally but I know you will pick yourself up and carry on fighting. X big hugs.

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  4. You are amazing. Thinking of you and your family so much xxxxx

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  5. Those words are ones that I understand, a butterfly means more to me now than it did just over 3 years ago. I too lost a baby at 28 weeks, born strong and healthy. When I heard the news the other night, I had to stop myself from crying in front of my husband and friend - the utter sadness I felt as soon as I heard that news reader. I am a friend of your colleague, Steph Barron. I have read your blog avidly - but never knew what to write. You are the amazing one, and you are the only one who will never realise this, because from your blog, sound too humble to have such an opinion of yourself. I cannot imagine the fear you are going through with the medical path you have in front of you, but I do know what pain you feel through losing your precious little girl. Know that you will see many other things that will make you realise she is still with you, in some form - and they will give you comfort along the way.

    Sending you and your beautiful family strong & positive thoughts to get you through Christmas, and beyond!

    Love, Ann-Marie Stewart, and Baby Dexter.

    Fly high little Angels xxx

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  6. Oh Heidi, I'm sad for you my lovely. #onwardsandupwards xxx

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  7. Heidi, never met you but thinking of you every day. Hils xxx

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  9. So unbelievably touching, thinking of you all, so strong, so brave, amazing xxxx

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  10. Heidi- I have many friends who find their strength in the beauty and fragility of butterflies. They are all mums who have also lost their babies and include myself! Personally I find ladybirds are the appeal for us but we all find something that gives us comfort. These first few weeks are a blur but you will find the strength knowing that you will always carry Ally in your heart! I think of you both often and Petra promises me she will pass on a hug when she sees you. Your words are beautiful and a fitting tribute to ally! Be strong xxx

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  11. Then a little story my grandma told me which I send to you . When all around gets dark and you feel the cold and see the shadows look beyond in the distance to the light, there will be one, focus and go forward.

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  12. U are amazing Heidi, always in my thoughts and prayers.. Baby ally is your guardian angel now& your boys(your precious sons and partner) I hope yous have a great Christmas under all the circumstances. Much love from Ireland.

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  13. So beautiful Heidi. When my dear grandpa died we scattered his ashes in the corner of his favourite field. We went back a year later and it was full of stinging nettles and covered in butterflies. I shall think of Ally next time I see a butterfly. Sending you and your family so much love xxxx

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  14. My heart breaks for you and your family, I'm so sorry you had to go through everything you have been through, all our love xx

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  15. So very sorry for your loss.

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    1. U r a true wordsmith. Be they scattered with cursing, humour or beauty they always leave me speechless. Keep going Heidi. X

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  17. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers this Christmas. My sister also called Heidi incidentally lost her baby Rosa to cot death 2 yrs ago this Christmas Day. The days ahead will be hard but you will get through if for no-one else for your boys. Ally will always be with you - your baby girl. Much love Helen x

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  18. Heidi. I haven't wanted to text again in case I'm bothering you guys but I can't stop and don't want to stop thinking about you guys. You know, these butterflies are scary (I share that fear) - for me, it's the unpredictability of their flapping and movement. Again, very fitting for all that is happening at the moment. Unpredictable. But just as that butterfly holds power in its wings, it holds beauty, wonder and Grace. As you do with your words and in you as a person. You have an incredible skill in putting your heart into words and allowing others in.

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    1. We are with you.
      You have so many people who care and love you guys.
      Keep fighting x

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  19. Happy Christmas to you and your family xxxxx

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  20. Hi Heidi,

    We went to Christmas Eve mass earlier tonight and we lit a candle in memory of your darling Ally and for your family. My little girl wanted to know who the man on the alter was and despite telling her he was called a priest she insisted on calling him the 'pest' in quite a loud voice .... Given we were sitting two rows from the front it all became slightly awkward.

    I'll be thinking of you all tomorrow.
    Ali

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  21. Thank you for your grittiness and defiant humour ....and butterflies rise to reach the light and dazzle us with their colour and fragility ...and still they fly ��

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  23. Hi Heidi,

    I only recently heard your story and I feel for you, right to the ends of every nerve in my body. I have just finished treatment for aggressive breast cancer a few weeks ago. I was 20 weeks pregnant when diagnosed and had my baby 4 weeks early. My worst fear was what you are going through right now. I cannot imagine that anything I say can take the sorrow away from you and your husband, but everyone who knows your story will I'm sure want to share my hope to help ease any pain for you in any possible way. A lot of people will say how amazing or inspiring you are, but for me, it was just something you have to get on with - you do it for your family and other children (I did not feel amazing or inspiring at all). Let me say this though - even if you don't feel it - you are amazing and inspiring just by being you and just by being strong and being a loving mother to your children. You, your family and your beautiful little girl will be in my prayers daily and my heart goes out to you all.

    Angel xxx.

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  24. Your strength is inspirational

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  25. For me it was always the dragonfly...
    I've lost my boy when I was 26 weeks pregnant, he lived 6 hours but I never got the chance to hold him (very complicated situation, I regret every second) anyway, In 3 different occasions that I was thinking about him and crying for him I saw a dragonfly near me and I wasn't scare of it..
    It might not make any sense for you, but now everytime I see a dragonfly, I think is my little Gabriel saying hello..

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