Have you ever experienced the presence of a deceased loved one through nature? Maybe it was the kind gesture of a total stranger that came when you prayed for a sign from above. Or it was a bird that landed nearby and peered at you the moment you began thinking of that loved one.
The monarch butterfly has a centuries-old symbolic connection to the afterlife in many cultures. I was fascinated by this fact, and so I started asking people about their personal experiences. I was amazed to discover how many said they’d had a personal connection with a butterfly after a loved one died. Perhaps at the funeral, or later when they thought of the person, a butterfly appeared.

So I included this element in my new novel, THE BUTTERFLY’S DAUGHTER, through a few of my characters who have there own experiences with the comforting presence of a deceased loved one during a monarch sighting. Little did I know that shortly after writing those scenes I too would have my own experience.

The lingering butterfly
My father-in-law passed away during the writing of this book. My son and I ceremoniously released three butterflies I had raised in his honor. Two flew promptly away, as they all want to do. But one butterfly lingered for a long time, alighting on my arm and my son for a long time. He seemed reluctant to leave. I was astonished. It was just as I’d described it in my novel! I released many butterflies that summer but this was the only time one lingered so long. It was memorable and poignant. I believe we have connections with nature that we simply do not understand.

Have you had a similar experience with a butterfly?


  1. Thanks for sharing that i found it very moving, i cannot wait to read your new book !!Lori

  2. I do believe we can have connections in nature which correspond with an experience in our lives. I have seen this, and have had the blessing of an event in nature reaffirming an answer to one of my prayers concerning a loved one who has passed from this life.
    Thank you for sharing about the lingering butterfly!

  3. Everytime I go to Pelon, I feel so close to God, and to my Mom and Dad who have both passed away. I can literally hear the angel's wings flutter. I have asked that my ashes be taken to that hill with the huge tree that is covered with the big clusters after I die. I can't think of a better place to fertilize the earth than where the Monarchs return year after year.

  4. While searching butterflies and the afterlife I came upon your site. I had never heard of any reference to this in the past, but because of an experience I had, I was so sure this occurence was somehow related. After the loss of my father-in-law, my son and myself had been speaking of him in the yard on a beautiful sunny day. A butterfly then landed on my arm and proceeded to hover and follow us across the yard for some time. My son and I quietly looked at eachother prompting him to quietly say "Grandpa". We both had this overwhelmingly peaceful and content feeling. There is much that the human race does not understand, but it is the little things that can bring us hope and faith if we allow it.


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All the best,
Mary Alice