losing a loved one; waterbugs & dragonflies

My family lost one of our Matriarchs this past week and she will be laid to rest tomorrow. She was a beautiful soul, with a heart of gold and loved by many. Losing someone you love is the hardest thing anyone will ever have to go through. It never gets easier; old or young, sick with a terminal illness or an unexpected death. It doesn’t matter how it happens, it always hurts the same. Grief is an emotion like no other. You think you’re okay, you think you’re getting through the day, then all of the sudden grief taps you on the shoulder when you least expect it. When this happens to me, I close my eyes and open my heart and remind myself that Heaven needs more heroes and angels.

My Mom sent me an email this past year of a story she had read. Apparently it is a Children’s book about “How to Explain Death to Young Children”, but I am not a young child and it is one of those things that touched my heart dearly and it can teach you a lot over and over again. I wanted to share it with you today because my family is mourning and I know that it is something that can bring a little peace to your heart, as it did mine.

Waterbugs and Dragonflies 

by Doris Stickney

Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond. They did notice that every once in awhile one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about. Clinging to the stem of a pond lily it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.

“Look!” said one of the water bugs to another. “One of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you think she is going?” Up, up, up it slowly went….Even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it didn’t return…

“That’s funny!” said one water bug to another. “Wasn’t she happy here?” asked a second… “Where do you suppose she went?” wondered a third.

No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled. Finally one of the water bugs, a leader in the colony, gathered its friends together. “I have an idea”. The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where he or she went and why.”

“We promise”, they said solemnly.

One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up, he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broken through the surface of the water and fallen onto the broad, green lily pad above.

When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn’t believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings… The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from the new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself up above the water. He had become a dragonfly!

Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere. By and by the new dragonfly lighted happily on a lily pad to rest. Then it was that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs! There they were scurrying around, just as he had been doing some time before.

The dragonfly remembered the promise: “The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk will come back and tell where he or she went and why.” Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly, he could no longer go into the water…

“I can’t return!” he said in dismay. “At least, I tried. But I can’t keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I’ll just have to wait until they become dragonflies too. Then they’ll understand what has happened to me, and where I went.”

And the dragonfly winged off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air…

I just love that story! Every time I read it, it brings new meaning and my heart heals a little. It is not just for children, any adult can learn a lot from that simple but beautiful story. We sometimes do not know why they leave us when they do, but I believe in my heart one day you will know when your time has come. All you can do is think about the happy times you shared together, you can see them laughing and smiling and that is how you should always remember them.

As the old saying goes; life is so short, such a blink of the eye. Always take the time out of your day to tell the ones you love how important they are to you. You never know when it could be the last time you get to say it to them. You learn to appreciate what you have because of what you have lost. I believe God has a plan and it is hard to see the blueprints through your tears sometimes. When those who have died, are never really gone. They’re just waiting patiently for the day we can join them, just like the dragonflies are for the waterbugs. Love lasts forever. Smile today. ❤ N. Sweet

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