Sunday, September 8, 2013

When the Dead Come Visit

My husband’s younger brother died unexpectedly last week; while Jim was down south taking care of the funeral arrangements with his sisters, standing outside the hotel he saw a luna moth on the tree.  Luna moths are pretty rare sightings, as far as I can tell.  They are the most lovely creatures of the night I know. 

Yesterday, during a dream workshop I was leading, one of the participants told me a story of how her grandmother always said she wanted to transform to a butterfly when she died.  This makes good sense as butterfly is a classic symbol of the transformation of the soul in death because of the catepillar, chrysalis, butterfly existence they have.  The Greek word we chose as the name of our video production company, Psyche, means soul and butterfly.  Well, at her grandmother’s funeral, at the gravesite, her sister nudged her and pointed out a beautiful butterfly flying near the grave and said, "Here’s Gram."

Yesterday evening my husband called me and told me about the luna moth and sent me the picture he took of it.  We talked about how maybe it was Charlie visiting.

Today walking on the beach, trying to be present and open to the beauty around me and not stuck in the jabberwocky of thoughts in my head, (Thanks ET for all your excellent teaching.) I caught snatches of a conversation between a couple headed the other way.  I caught the words “funeral” and “ladybug” spoken by the woman as they approached me, then I caught more of her words as we intersected, “How does a lady bug show up in the car when we’re driving down 95?”  He says “Do you think it’s symbolic...?” the last words I hear as they move out of earshot.

I felt that thrill of recognition, three’s a charm.  Three times in a row, someone is comforted by the appearance of a beautiful butterfly or insect at the very moment when it counts, experiencing the loss of a dear loved one.  Maybe because insects have such short little life spans, the departed get to speak their comfort through them and then move on, leaving that beautiful image for their loved ones to share forevermore.

I pay my respects to Charlie in this post. Your brother loves you; thanks for comforting him just when he needs it the most.  May you travel to your desired home and may Love and Light guide you.

I also want to re-emphasize how natural it is for spirit to speak in symbol and dreams.  Just because someone tells you it’s all bullshit, don’t let that stop you from paying attention and seeing for yourself if this is true.  I ask myself if the person who is dissuading me with intellectual arguments has any dreaming experience; also, if this is a happy person?  If they have neither of these qualities, I tend to find their claims dubious.

I have a collection of visitation dreams told to me by men, women and children.  It’s probably the most frequently remembered dream by those who don't keep journals; usually remembered in vivid detail years later.  Wish fulfillment?  Do you really like Freud?  Ask yourself, what would Carl Jung say?  Most renoun dream teachers today, (Robert Moss, William Buhlman, Patricia Garfield) devote a great deal of attention to dreaming as an art of mid-wifing the transition of each person from the physical to the energy or spirit dimensions.  Listening to these stories is among the most beautiful experiences I have teaching Active Dreaming.  Dreaming is an amazing bridge between life and death, if only we hadn’t been made into scaredy kitties, (my apologies to my cats) by our religions, our out of control left brained, scientific paradigm or Hollywood.  Dreams have been tagged “of the devil”, just biological, mechanical, necessary but irrelavent and then we’ve got freddy krueger, ugh!

Yes, you’ve got to have some gumption to develop a dream practice, but as soon as you start, you get hooked.  Why?  Because it works.  Dreaming is a bridge, a lifeline for the soul.


  1. You write so beautifully about such profound experiences, Lita. Please tell your hub I'm sorry for his loss. Personally, I think the luna butterfly was a visitation. Butterflies do seem to often be about spirit communication.

    1. Thank you, Trish; I'll give Jim your message. Somehow I missed this comment until now, sorry for the delay in posting it. I always appreciate your comments.

  2. I read your posting/blog about death and butterflies, and just want to add to the pile: when we finally put Mom’s remains in the ground a year ago in June, as I was walking away from the grave, an ordinary white butterfly flew very low over her (and Dad’s) site. It just dipped over the spot and then ascended. It moved me very much, especially since I hadn’t felt Mom swinging by with a good-bye of any sort in the whole year since she died.

    And I had been given a card by a friend at the time: it had a picture of a butterfly on it, and inside the single word “transformation.”

    I don’t know how/if it all adds up to anything at all, but I was glad to read your thoughts.

    Thanks, dear friend! - Diane

  3. No doubt, dear Diane; this is too common an experience to doubt. I love the aerial salute! Hugs to you.

  4. This post is really great, Lita. Butterflies often seem to surface when a loved one dies. May we use part of this as a repost?