In Transition

Tussock Moth Caterpillar

The life I led before becoming a widow fell away from me on March 12, 2013. I was a beautiful caterpillar before that day…pretty, perfect, moving from meal to meal mindlessly. Oh, it didn’t seem mindless at the time. I was full of energy and purpose and life and love. But the day Mr. Virgo died, the “ME” I was left for good. I tried for a long time to get her back. In my naïveté, I thought it was somehow possible to get over all this and get back to the business of living my life as a caterpillar. After a while, I finally got it…that part of my life was over.

I went into my cocoon, that dark space where I worked on what was inside somehow trusting the outside would follow. And eventually, after lots of prayer and time and travel and mistakes, I finally emerged…changed, to be sure. But with wings! Wings that have carried me to new heights. To new places. To new life, new love, new friends, new peace.

As I sat on the front porch yesterday, this little yellow caterpillar crawled up on an old pair of boots I have sitting on a table outside Grandma’s front window. I watched it explore this inanimate object in search of food. It’s a beautiful thing…soon to become a tussock moth. I contemplated all the varieties of caterpillars there are in the world. They are different for a reason. They are meant to become a moth or a butterfly…whether a short, stubby, nondescript gypsy moth or a magnificent luna moth, a tiny Karner Blue or a Monarch or a Swallowtail…they will all have wings and fulfill their destinies.

Widows are the butterflies of love and loss…we transform through a period of darkness, stillness encased in a hard shell, a chrysalis, a crucible of change. When our time comes and we are ready, we start to grow. Our comfortable shell, that place that helped protect us from the world, begins to feel too tight, too constricting. In the time before we break through to our new life, this one begins to feel quite painful. It is in that moment we think we can’t do this anymore. It’s just too much. We’ve endured so much pain, so much discomfort. Now, here we are going through it again. Unlike the caterpillar, we have a choice to make here. Stay in this dark place forever or emerge into the world of the unknown, fresh and new, yet forever changed.

What we have the hardest time seeing in that dark place is the beauty of the life beyond. If we can just drag ourselves out on the limb, hang on by tips of our fingers, and trust God to work on our hearts, life blood pumps into our wings and they begin to expand and dry. For a while we sit there, in disbelief. We flex our wings…our beautiful, multicolored wings…and in a glorious moment of magic, we fly!

There is a certain ambivalence between sorrow and healing. What starts out as a line as thick and strong as a ship’s anchor chain, time and healing stretches that connection to our loved one out into a thinner and finer cord. Still strong, but lighter. If you cut that cord that ties you, are you unfaithful to the memory of your lost love? Have you turned your back on what that relationship meant to you? Are you betraying your life partner if you choose to step out into the sun? I don’t believe so. Spreading my wings and flying is exactly what my love would want, would expect, me to do. I’ll never forget my days as a caterpillar but I’m choosing to move forward, to live my life as a glorious butterfly. To really own that. I choose to fly. ❤️

“The LORD our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain.”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬


20 thoughts on “In Transition

  1. Great post. I still feel like a balloon that has had its cord cut and I’m just floating around. Not all the time, just most of the time. I put one foot in front of the other and breathe. It sucks but there’s a chance tomorrow will be a good day!

    1. There’s always a chance and at some point, a choice. I know every grief is different. I just had this epiphany and stood up. My heart is with you on your walk, dear one. ❤️

  2. I tell those around me im good, im fine, one day at a time. all those moments gone never to be shared again. “JOY COMES IN THE MORNING”. I try each day to see the joy and if not joy to at least be greatful for the little things. Someday i believe ill fly again alone but my wings will be strong and will keep Me aloft.

    1. It will come in time. Just keep moving, dear one. Think of something that you have always wanted to do but never could. Put that out there as a carrot on the stick…something to work towards as you heal. ❤️

  3. Ginny,this had to have been written for me! My life changed on May 19,2017….just a few short weeks ago. Some days I can get through without crying every at every little thing,but today doesn’t seem like it’s going to be a “no cry” day. This journey is so hard and I am thankful for my family and friends who are so supportive.

    1. My heart is with you, Janet. So fresh into this. Expect to be pretty numb this year with lots of waves close together and strong. You’ll get through this, changed forever. Please trust you CAN find joy again. Thank you for being here. There’s a bunch of supportive people on here. ❤️

    2. Those tears are part of your healing Janet. Let them flow. You’re so right, it is a difficult journey. It’s been three years for me since our son died. But with God’s help & love I too am learning to fly again (ever so slowly). Be patient with yourself. ❤

  4. Powerful post, Ginny
    Caterpillars, wings and butterflies….
    Always is a choice to move forward in life. To spread our wings and FLY !
    Thank you for sharing ❤️

  5. I knew when the I emerged into my new life. I , unlike you Ginny,was able to express only in the spoken are able to articulate so beautifully through writing. Suddenly one day I woke up with a smile I do that a lot now and give encouraging words to others. I walked away from the need to tell the saga of my painful journey of loneliness ….the paradigm shift was long in coming…

    I did not think I’d ever ” get over it” and wondered what the formula was in the ” when”. I now comprehend it is Gods gift that He allows us the space we need to heal fully before we come out as a new creature more beautiful than ever because We have a fresh understanding of what our purpose is.. I am His child, ready and willing to go forward and see the big picture. I am Virginia, helper, mentor and empath to those He puts in my life…without my journey I’d be shallow of heart.
    I am fully restored and able to mentor others now who are going thru pain . I’m not a tinkling cymbal (1st. Corinthians 13.1) anymore….I have a new understanding of others due to my journey. I am right where He( the Lord) wants me..”it is a wonderful feeling!” Wonderful truth to love others as He has loved us! May our days be long and fruitful!

    1. Thank you for this Gini! It’s wonderful and such a gift to me…a validation. I appreciate your comments here on the Ranch. There have been times I wanted to quit writining then I’d get a response like this and Holy Spirit would say, “See? This is your gift, your ministry. Keep going!” You have a good heart, dear one! ❤️

  6. First I need to say Happt Belated Birthday Ginny ❤ this week is a tough one for me…the 14th marks the 8th month since my Jim was called home, and actually, all things considered, I did ok!. My ‘baby’ had to have surgery yesterday, to remove her gallbladder..thankfully that’s done and behind her…..and this Saturday (17th) is our 13th Wedding Anniversay…another first for me…..this can be a toughy.

    Anyway, this blog post of yours. Timing. I woke this morning with the sun rise light pouring through my window. I got up, set my Insight Timer for my meditation, had my chat with Jim and drew my morning oracle card which happened to be Cloud (shapeshifting). I then proceeded to journal….my words were…….

    The Cloud Card (shapeshifting). I feel as though I’m always recreating myself….now that Jim is gone, I know and feel there is a new Linda evolving here. I’m working on just allowing it to happen…there is no judgement. Jim never really judged me in the past as I was growing and discovering,in stead he encouraged..he was even my cheerleader at times, but I do believe being with someone, being who you are is ‘controlled’ by that in some ways……now, for the first time, I have no one to ‘answer’ to, no one who’s opinion really matters except my own…… is kinda freeing in its own way………..

    Sorry for the long winded post Ginny. Just felt the need to share 😊❤

  7. How about “Virgie” in honor of Mr. Virgo? Just a thought. – Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us.

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