Symbolism In Communication


Symbolism In Communication

What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us. ~ Helen Keller

Now that I am on the road to Spokane, I have quite a bit of stories to share. During our caregiving journey I found it was not only important to share our story but soothing too! While I always will feel part of the vast community of caregivers, the bottom line is that my role has shifted from caring for someone else to caring for me. Learning how to care for yourself when coming out of caregiving is going to be different for each one of us.  While I continue to embrace my life after caregiving has ended, some days are better than others.

Something happen recently that I haven’t shared because it has been difficult to put into words yet alone in perspective. In telling my story to a few close friends (which I will get to in a little bit), they reminded me of the story of the yellow butterfly. Are you familiar with the symbolism of the yellow butterfly? For instance, in the Christian tradition butterflies in general symbolizes the resurrection. The caterpillar dies and lives again ith (2)n a new more glorious form. In Scotland and Ireland, a yellow butterfly near the departed means the soul is at peace. When I told my story to my two friends (at different times) both recounted their own story about a yellow butterfly in their life, and how a yellow butterfly appeared out of nowhere when they were in the midst of feeling sad about the loss of a loved one. In both accounts, I was told of the comfort the yellow butterfly brought to my friends and the message they conveyed to me was similar to the beliefs what our friends in Scotland and Ireland believe: the soul is at peace and you can be at peace too! 

I’m sure all of us at one time or another have thought long and hard about life after death: Do people communicate from “the other side” and if so, how?  Friends, just like you, have told me from time to time their stories of departed loved ones “communicating from the other side” in some form or another. The latest “after-life communication”story recounted to me is about a special paper towel dispenser in the form of a light house which displays a bright red light when tapped on top and a loud bellowing sound of a ships horn can be heard. The lighthouse towel dispenser can only turn on when tapped on top yet after the passing of my friends husband there has been instances where the lighthouse simply turns on itself! Does this phenomena have meaning?Is it my friend’s deceased husband communicating, or is it just a chance event. What do you think?

Richard was a firm believer that “once the lights went out, that was it!” He did not believe in life after death and he did not believe there was communication from “the other side.” Even though my seminary professors would be aghast to hear my say this, I do believe that people who have gone before us do communicate to us in some form or fashion. On December 11, 2015, it happen to me! 


On December 11, 2015 I received a text message (see above) from Richard’s phone which has been disconnected for over  18 months. Startled, I did not know what to think of this text. When his picture popped up on my cell phone text message screen I had to do a double-take! Technological glitch? Phenomenon? Message from the other side? Or, as I have come to accept, my yellow butterfly.   

butterflybutterfliesinsec_23727There is no rhyme or reason to this “text” message: no message inside the text, just his smiling face on my screen. My phone carrier can’t explain it because his old numbers are not in service, and if they were, “How would the new owner know to text my number” the tech said? I have been cautious to share this story because I have had a hard time understanding the text message. Then I think of the meaning of the yellow butterfly.

As most of my family, friends, radio show listeners, and readers know, I have struggled since Richard made is life transition. Two steps forward, one step back. Trying to find my place and identity has been challenging since Richard made his life transition. I know finishing my Masters degree will be a big boost to my confidence!

During my course of study at Gonzaga in Leadership and Communication, we have looked at the many different communication theories and different forms of communication. However, there is no communication theory that explains the phenomena of the yellow butterfly better than faith.  I cherish this “message” because I do believe in this form of communication. I don’t know if I will ever get another “text message ” from Richard again but what I have learned from this message is a reminder that there is never an ending, there are only new beginnings and Richard is at peace and I can be at peace too!

“On The Road To Spokane” is my story leading up to graduation in May at Gonzaga University.

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Thank you for sharing your writing. Although it was written a while ago, I happened to come across your blog post tonight/this morning. I don't see a like button so will leave this note of appreciation for your heartfelt, well-written blog.


Wow, that gave me goose-bumps!! Like you, I don't know what to think of things like this...seems \"illogical\" to think that it could happen, but who are we do make that judgment? It is certainly a wonderful gift whether \"real\" or coincidental. Thanks for sharing your story, and congrats on your upcoming graduation!


Chris - lovely post, and I'm sure anyone who has had such an experience will relate. Regardless of how we feel at an intellectual level about the possibility, if and when it happens, it is hard to deny. I've never had anything this blatant or strange happen to me. But I have had many more subtle \"yellow butterfly\" moments with regard to my dad, who passed in 1998. (PS - great blog and congrats on your approaching graduation!)


i have no time for me 24 -7 all for him


what do i do with an 87 yr old father thats turning grumpy and nasty and i wait on him hand and foot?