When my father came for a visit, he assumed an image of a penitent man in my mind’s eye. My mother chose an entirely different way to attend my daughter’s wedding…
First Things First
This will be controversial to some, but I believe the dead can come back to visit the living for brief moments of time, should there be a good reason to do so. My father came back to show me how sorry he was about not being around when I was growing up. My mother didn’t need to do the same, since she was there for me my whole life, until the day she died.
Over the years, I’d heard that female relatives assume the fragile figure of a butterfly to visit with loved ones and family. If they land on one’s arm, it is the equivalent of a gentle touch.
Mom’s First Visitation
In my case, my Mom chose a different way to return: she appeared as a cat.
One day, in the months after my mother’s death in 2003, I happened to look out our bathroom window of the house we owned on Windsor Road, Torquay. A catwas crossing the flat roof of the extension below. I tried to shoo it away, and it started to move toward the edge of the roof, then it stopped, turned and smiled at me. That was a complete surprise!
Then the cat completed the jump from the roof onto the adjoining stone wall in the back garden, and I never saw it again. My first thought was, “That was my Mom coming to say ‘hi’ to me”. But why as a cat?
I then remembered something my Mom used to say to me about her next life: “If I come back, I want to come back as a cat. They have such pampered lives. I’d like to have a life like that.”
My Daughter’s Wedding Uninvited Guest
In 2012, my youngest child, Rosanna, married her long-time boyfriend and partner, Ross. The venue was a 13th Century church atop Brentor in Devon.
On the day, which was blustery and cold, the church was packed with invited guests. As the wedding party stood at the front, near the altar, a butterfly appeared at the bottom of the stained glass windows. As the marriage ceremony was proceeding, it settled down, opening and closing its wings. After the ceremony, it seemed to disappear again. But most of the participants saw it before it went.
I had to look through a book on butterflies native to the United Kingdom before I could identify it as a Painted Lady. (That may have been an insider joke from my Mom, because her past as a divorcee meant that some parishioners would have painted her as that, had they known.)
As my daughter was the very first of Mom’s grandchildren to get married, I suspect she didn’t want to miss it.
But instead of being a fly on the wall, she decided to be a butterfly on the stained glass.
We all still miss you greatly, Mom, but we are also very grateful for your fleeting attendance at my daughter’s wedding. Love you.