On Friday, November 5, 1999, as the sun rose over the ocean at St. Simons Island, Georgia, my mother, LuReese Watson Robertson, quietly yielded her spirit to God’s eternal care.  The week before had been a time of prayers and tearful goodbyes for our family as we watched her slip away.  In the hours I spent alone by her bedside, I talked to her even though she could not answer.

Somehow I believe that she heard me as I thanked her for being such a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother.  Since there were some indications that she was aware of what I was saying, I made one last request of her.  I said:

“Mama, when you get to Heaven and find Daddy (my father had died in 1992), please find a way to let me know that you are together.”

She did not reply and so I continued my vigil during her final hours on earth.

In the moments after Mother died, I gathered her belongings and prepared to return to her home to join the rest of our family.  However, I decided to go down to the beach for a while to be alone with my thoughts.

It was a cool, crisp day and the sun was beginning to warm the air as I walked on the beach alone.  As I stood lost in sadness watching the ocean waves caress the sand, I noticed two bright orange butterflies off to my left.

Never have I seen two butterflies just alike, but these appeared to be identical and even more unusual, they flew so close together that their wings seemed to be intertwined!  I watched entranced as the butterflies flew very close to my face, hovered for a few seconds and then flew away together.

Since my parents’ Christian faith was strong and real, I knew that this was God’s way of letting me know that they were alive and together with their Heavenly Father.

What better way to grant my request to my mother than for God to send me two butterflies, the symbol of eternal life, as I stood alone in my grief?  May God grant to all those who grieve the knowledge that “those we have loved and lost awhile” are safe, happy and well with God and His Angels.

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Jane Westerfield

As the author of three books on death and dying and contributing author to a fourth book on these subjects, Dr. Jane Robertson Westerfield has some unique perspectives to offer those who are grieving. Dr. Westerfield holds the Doctor of Arts Degree from Ball State University, Muncie, IN, the Master's Degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY and the Bachelor's Degree from Wesleyan College, Macon, GA. She is a seasoned educator, having taught kindergarten through college level classes. She has broad experience as a writer, speaker/performer, director and producer. Dr. Westerfield served as a featured panelist for Women's History Month at Edinboro University, Edinboro, PA where she also filmed a documentary, serving as a Featured Expert. She enjoys working with Music and Drama in her church and she serves as the Website Content Editor for People for Christ International.

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