Another Season and the Yellow Butterfly

April 22, 2004, my life was forever changed. My 14 year old daughter, Olivia Corinne Hoff passed away. It will be four years April 22, 2008.

As I look back now, I don’t even know how I survived. I didn’t think it was possible to live another day, another week, another month and another year, but I have. My grief journey continues to this day, such hard work, every day. For those parents who have lost a child, you all know too well how difficult this journey is. Along the way, I felt as though I were stuck, unable to move forward and, of course, not wanting to. By moving forward, I felt that I would be leaving Olivia behind, accepting life without her. I have moved on but in a different way. I will always have a broken heart, my life is not filled with joy, nor do I look forward to the future. It’s too hard to look beyond today.

Well, about two years after Olivia’s death, I noticed that I was paying special attention to each season, seeing and appreciating the beauty of each one. This was something that I had not done before. It was as if I was seeing through different eyes, eyes that were filled with much pain, eyes that still cried so many tears, eyes that longed to see my daughter again. Yet, I could see the beauty that each new season would bring.

As spring approaches, I find myself feeling so sad, crying more, as this is the anniversary month, another year. I just want to see my daughter again, then it happens. I will go outside to look at the garden I planted for Olivia and while I’m outside, the Yellow Butterfly flys past me, as if to let me know Olivia is okay. I see the Yellow Butterfly all the time now and I smile.

Yes, another Season and The Yellow Butterfly, my reminders that my daughter is always with me, always in my Heart. She is free, free to Soar, free to Fly, like the Yellow Butterfly.

Corinne Ruiz
Mom of Olivia Corinne Hoff

Abel Keogh

Abel Keogh

More Articles Written by Abel

Abel is the author of the relationship guides Dating a Widower: Starting a Relationship with a Man Who's Starting Over and Marrying a Widower: What You Need to Know Before Tying the Knot as well as several other books. During the day, Abel works in corporate marketing for a technology company. His main responsibilities include making computers and software sound super sexy, coding websites, and herding cats. Abel and his wife live somewhere in the beautiful state of Utah and, as citizens of the Beehive State, are parents of the requisite five children.

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  • I am so sorry for your loss. I am a widow of four years but cannot imagine the loss of a child. May you be blessed. elaine williams

  • Irene Conlan says:

    Thank you so much for publishing my story/poem. As Olivia’s 4 year anniversary approaches, I find myself remembering her in so many ways.

    I thank you with all of my heart!

    God Bless,
    Corinne

  • KAMEY MCEWAN says:

    I have always loved working in my flower gardens often enjoying the butterflies dance among the fowers. My teenage son Travis would help me with planting and weeding to earn extra spending money.
    One day as we were working a butterfly landed on
    his arm…he shooed it away. I told him he was
    special because it was a kiss from an angel.
    My precious Travis was killed in a car accident on May 27, 2007. He was 16 years old. The day of his funeral hundreds of butterflies covered his grave. A few days later as I was sobbing at his grave a beautiful butterfly landed on my hand, crawled all over my fingers and up to my
    shoulder and just sat there. I realized that this was my sign from God.

  • I am so sorry for your losses. Our hearts will never be the same. But it is so true that we look at the seasons..and everything in life differently now. I believe I have become a gentler person in so many ways. What a wonderful gift…the butterfly! Lots of hugs for both of you! Lana

  • Diane Sutton says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, as I too lost my son of 34 years of age on April 30, 2008. My son;s fiancee wants to sell the home they lived in as it is in need of some repairs and the with the current market here in Las Vegas she will loose money, but I feel like once the house, truck and motorcycle are gone he will be forgotten. I was so glas to have read that there is healing in the future and some of this pain will be lessened. Thank you for sharing about your daughter that helped me today.
    Sincerely,
    Diane Sutton

  • Corinne Ruiz says:

    Dear Diane,

    It is very painful to let go of what once belonged to our child. We do feel as if we are letting them go. We want to keep everything that was theirs. It doesn’t matter how small, a gum wrapper, a water bottle, a tissue anything that was used by our child is a treasure to us. I still have these small items of Olivia. I did finally give her bed to my little nieces, so I know she is okay with that. Everything else is still in her room. Diane, as each day, month and year goes by, God gives us the strength to move forward. After four years, I have finally realized that Olivia is always with me. It’s time to start putting her clothes away. It was very painful coming to the realization that Olivia would never sleep in her bed again. She would never brush her teeth with her toothbrush. She would never wear her clothes again. I remember the day this happened. I fell to the floor hugging her pillow and crying. Diane, be patient with yourself. Allow yourself to feel all the emotions of grief. Know that your son will always be with you. He will be in a cool breeze that comes out of nowhere. When this happens, wrap your arms around yourself, close your eyes, and imagine you are holding him. Whenever I see a butterfly, I follow it with my eyes, smile, look up to the sky and say “Olivia, my beautiful girl, you are with me”. Yes, our pain does lessen but our lives are forever changed. Some how, some way, we find a strength deep within us to move forward for our children. We do whatever we can to keep their memory alive. We do whatwever we can to honor them. Diane, please let me know how you are doing. Please keep in touch.

    God Bless you.

    Corinne, Olivia’s mom

  • Diane Sutton says:

    Dear Corinne: Thank you so much for the kind words and the strength to go on through one more day. I feel Jason’s presence in our home and I know that my 3 month old grandson can see his Dad. Before Jason passed away, he told Kristy that the Nicolas can see Angels. Since the baby cannot convey that to anyone, it was Jason that saw the Angels and he was given a sign that the end was soon. So when Nicolas looks up and smiles at the ceiling we know that Jason is there. I found out from the doctor that performed the autopsy that Jason had an enlarged heart, high blood pressure and a mitro valve prolapse. We knew of the mitro valve, as he was born with it, but the rest – no. I also found out that Jason made an appointment with a cardiologist and never made it to the appointment. So many other circumstances happened and as we look back they all fit into place, that Jason knew he was not well.

    I know that in time, the grief and pain will lessen, but and maybe there is way of turing all this pain around to help someone else. I don’t know.

    Take care;
    Diane, Jason’s mom

  • Cherri says:

    my son sends me butterflies too! and I really do believe with all my heart it is his way of showing me he is still by my side. Here is a link to his memorial site, which shares several messages he has sent me: http://christopher-miele.last-memories.com/index.php?co=page&page=968&poz=0

    Like you, I too see so many things in nature, symbolism, signs from Chris, it helps me to beieve there is so much more after earth.

    Wishing you peace and light
    Cherri
    Founder of http://www.mychildlossgrief.org

  • Corinne says:

    Dear Cherri,

    Thank so very much for responding to my story. I visited your memorial site for your son, Christopher. How beautiful, what a wonderful tribute to your son. It’s amazing how we, bereaved parents, feel as though we know each other. As I was viewing Christopher’s photos, I felt very close to him, as though I knew him. It brought tears to my eyes. I felt your pain as it made me think about my daughter Olivia. I guess we “Bereaved Parents” are a family. We are always finding ways to reach out and support each other. Cherri, I do believe Christopher and Olivia are together in Heaven. Just this morning as I was outside, I felt a cool breeze, birds singing, and I smiled, looked up, because these were signs from Olivia. Cherri, it has been four years now that I have been on this Journey of Grief; but my relationship with the Lord has grown so much. I miss Olivia so much but I feel her presence even more when I meditate on the Lord’s word. Cherry, our children are now free to soar, free to fly like the “Yellow Butterfly”. Please keep in touch.

    Peace be with you,
    Corinne, Olivia’ mom

  • Corinne says:

    Cherri, please keep in touch and thank you for guiding me to you wonderful website.

    Corinne, Olivia’ mom

  • Maria says:

    When I saw the butterfly, I thought about my daughter. She was 2 years old when she passed away; she had a heart problem. She used to sing the children’s song “Fly, fly, fly the butterfly…”.

    I still go thru a rollercoaster of emotions, just like the ones you mentioned. And I also know that my heart will never be the same again; I feel a void that I think will be there until I die.

    I miss my little angel.

  • Virginia says:

    Thank you to everyone for sharing their loss. I think this amazing modern tool is a window one can open to others so one does not have to feel the numbing isolation of grief.
    I am writing the blog http://thebutterflywidow.blogspot.com/ about my husband’s spectacular death in a foreign country and the here and now of my coping.
    I have subtitled it Finding Life After Death. It is helping me to write this story. Getting over grief is a period of personal growth and writing it down is a tool for finding balance in one’s own mind.

  • My lovely sister Ginny Delgado passed Oct 3, 2013, it was a Thursday, on the following Tuesday I was outside on her balcony which was a plant/flower garden and her sanctuary. She had a heart and lung disease on medication and oxygen so she wasn’t able to travel very far without assistance. As my sister Annett and I sat on the porch one single yellow butterfly flew up and landed on a flower, I watched as it circled in the yard beyond the trees, and came back around and landed on the exact same flower. I knew this was a message to me from my sister, or was possibly the spirit and the beauty of my sister in front of me. As I was about to leave Missouri, my sisters home, and travel back to Texas, I spoke of the butterfly to my two nieces while we stood in the kitchen about to say our goodbyes. (It was so difficult for me to leave my sisters home and say goodbye to her family). As I told the same story to my niece, and also how a butterfly had made a visit at my sons fathers funeral, my niece mentioned she too was visited by the yellow butterfly, but on the ground close to my sisters flower garden on the ground. Ive been researching to find the significance of the “Yellow Butterfly”. Thank you for this post.