Sunday, November 18, 2007


The reason I picked the title "Emerging from the Cocoon" for my 'blog'...

During my hospital stay, the staff placed a butterfly sticker on my hospital room door as a symbol for all nurses, staff, etc. who entered to be aware that I had a still birth.
I later was given a beautiful "remembrance bracelet" which had a butterfly charm on it and butterfly lapel pins to give to family/ friends.
The nurse explained to us why the butterfly is used. Her explanation was much like this one:
"In the grief process, the bereaved person must learn how to deal with the loss, or significant change. Many people may hide away from the rest of the world much like being in a cocoon while trying to heal. This cocoon phase is one of transformation and often introspection and reflection. The process ends as the person emerges from their cocoon, metamorphosed into a different person. Thus the transformation of the grieving process is much like the story of the butterfly."

The nurse explained to us that just like the butterfly can never go back to being a caterpillar we will never be the same, as Caroline's presence in our life-although short, changed us forever.

When I was in college student teaching, we raised monarch butterflies in the classroom. The children (and I) loved watching them grow from little larva to big, fat caterpillars. Then suddenly they would be inside of their chrysalis (cocoon)- usually they did this overnight so the students would come into to school and be surprised and shocked by the change. Then there was so much anticipation for when they would emerge. When they finally did, we had to release them and I remember the children being somewhat sad to see them go as they had 'raised' them and watch them be 'born'. This is exactly how I feel now. I loved watching my belly grow and had such great anticipation for the day my baby girl would come out. Unfortunately, just like my students and their butterflies, I had to let her go. The butterfly is a gentle reminder of how beautiful, and fragile life can be. I think that one of my students said it best,"You should not take life for granted, as some of us never even get the chance to live it."

1 comment:

Emily said...

What a beautiful way to perfectly describe this process. I cannot stand to think it's been almost six months since I last held my girl... and, more often than not, I'm still right here, in my cocoon. And that's okay. Thank you for reminding me of that. I catch a glimpse of the butterfly I'll be every once in a while and I have to say it's so much more than the caterpillar I once knew....