But­ter­fly mes­sen­gers

The Compass - - OPINION -

things that pre­vi­ously seemed self-ev­i­dent.

Cu­ri­ous to know how Hol­lett, a per­sonal friend, re­sponds to read­ers who ques­tion or doubt the idea of flut­tery mes­sen­gers, I asked him sev­eral ques­tions.

“I did not put the book to­gether to con­vert those peo­ple that are skep­ti­cal about but­ter­fly mes­sen­gers,” he ad­mit­ted. “There will al­ways be skep­tics, no mat­ter how solid the ev­i­dence is!

“I put the book to­gether for those peo­ple that are al­ready be­liev­ers and for those that want to be­lieve. I am hope­ful that the sto­ries … will help sway some of the peo­ple that are ‘sit­ting on the fence.’”

Per­haps some of the en­coun­ters with but­ter­flies were merely ran­dom en­coun­ters?

“I would be the first to ad­mit that some of the sto­ries … are pos­si­bly just chance en­coun­ters with but­ter­flies,” Hol­lett added. “Some­times we be­lieve what we want to be­lieve be­cause we need so badly the re­as­sur­ance that a loved one is still close by.”

Case in point: Hol­lett’s own per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence.

First, his fa­ther passed away. Then his mother died, af­ter suf­fer­ing Alzheimer’s dis­ease for sev­eral years.

“ We ar­rived at the church shortly be­fore dark,” Hol­lett wrote. “As we climbed the stairs to en­ter the build­ing, a smile came to my face. I told my sis­ters to look at the han­dle of the church door. There, sit­ting on the han­dle, was a beau­ti­ful but­ter­fly. I said, ‘ Thanks for let­ting me know that you are still with us, Mom.’”

Hol­lett sug­gested that some sto­ries “are sim­ply too amaz­ing to be sim­ply a chance en­counter. Moths chang­ing colour be­fore your eyes, but­ter­flies land­ing on a mon­u­ment when asked, but­ter­flies in some­one’s car and but­ter­flies mak­ing your phone ring with a very spe­cial mes­sage! These are the sto­ries that will make even the skep­tics won­der.”

Hol­lett com­piled his book with a pur­pose in mind: “to give hope to those who are missing a loved one. If I can make some­one feel just a lit­tle bet­ter af­ter the loss of a child, par­ent or friend, then the book has been worth the ef­fort. If I can help some­one who is com­ing to the end of their earthly life, by giv­ing them some re­as­sur­ance that life con­tin­ues af­ter death, then the book will have been a suc­cess.”

Why are there but­ter­fly mes­sen­gers?

“They are one of the light­est things to move and ma­nip­u­late,” Hol­lett an­swered. “ If we have the abil­ity to ‘move’ things af­ter we pass over, then but­ter­flies would be one of the eas­i­est things to move. They are also a sym­bol of beauty and re­birth, so what bet­ter thing for some­one to use if they are try­ing to get a mes­sage to those left be­hind?”

Who am I to ques­tion such an hon­oured and good-in­ten­tioned ef­fort?

Per­haps I can re­phrase the words of the man in the Bi­ble who said, in a moment of keen in­ner turmoil, “I do be­lieve; help me over­come my un­be­lief.”

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