October 2, 2012

I took this photograph on the way home from blueberry picking this summer.  As we drove by these fields of sunflowers, I actually lost my breath.  It was like a dream.  A miracle.  A bit of magic.  How blessed I am to live in this world - to experience such beauty.

Today marks 6 months since Mom's passing.

Yesterday I got weepy in Wal-Mart (why does that place feel so much like home?) It was the laundry aisle that did me in. 

In the evening I gave myself a short cry in bed, followed by a nap while Joe played with the girls.

Today I saw a beautiful butterfly that struggled fiercely in the wind to fly above me for a long moment.  The way it beat its wings, was swept up by the wind, and fluttered back, determined to stay within my gaze - I could have sworn it was her.

When I see something truly beautiful, I sigh with sadness.  It's a shame she can't be here to see this.

Then I wonder vaguely if she can see all this.  If somehow she sees more than I can know.

That thought passes without an answer - just the sense that wondering is enough.

My heart holds so many things.  Sadness and hope and relief and regret and acceptance.  Today, though.  Today I feel wonder and gratitude for my butterfly.


  1. You are amazing, Whitney. Somehow the words of your struggles help me feel through mine, no matter how very different and even trivial in comparison to yours. Thank you for sharing your heart here in your space. Somehow it helps me to be braver and truer to my own heart. A big hug to you!

  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You are still in my thoughts and prayers often. I am forever better because you entered my life.

  3. I have never seem a sunflower field before. So beautiful! That is really neat about the butterfly. Thanks for sharing. I have been thiking about you and hope you are doing well

  4. What a beautiful reminder that the Lord knows all of the thoughts of our hearts and how to help us in even the loneliest of our struggles. I think and pray for you often. Loving you from afar!

  5. I think your mother can see this. Our Father sends many different symbols, to touch every person's unique heart. Yours is a beautiful heart and I admire you.

  6. Dear Whitney, I was enjoying reading about Ellie's birthday. Looking at her face is the same as looking into your face, just a bit younger. So wonderful that your face can be duplicated and passed along for yet another generation! As I read a bit further I came to this post and thought of the conference talk by Richard G. Scott from General Conference April 2012. I found it after doing a search for words of solace shortly after Brooke passed away. It brought me comfort and I hope it will do the same for you also. Love you girl and your mama IS proud of you, I know that!!

    Another example of revelation is this guidance given to President Joseph F. Smith: “I believe we move and have our being in the presence of heavenly messengers and of heavenly beings. We are not separate from them. … We are closely related to our kindred, to our ancestors … who have preceded us into the spirit world. We can not forget them; we do not cease to love them; we always hold them in our hearts, in memory, and thus we are associated and united to them by ties that we can not break. … If this is the case with us in our finite condition, surrounded by our mortal weaknesses, … how much more certain it is … to believe that those who have have gone beyond … can see us better than we can see them; that they know us better than we know them. … We live in their presence, they see us, they are solicitous for our welfare, they love us now more than ever. For now they see the dangers that beset us; … their love for us and their desire for our well being must be greater than that which we feel for ourselves.”1

    Relationships can be strengthened through the veil with people we know and love. That is done by our determined effort to continually do what is right. We can strengthen our relationship with the departed individual we love by recognizing that the separation is temporary and that covenants made in the temple are eternal. When consistently obeyed, such covenants assure the eternal realization of the promises inherent in them.