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A Butterfly’s Beauty, Part 2

The heavenly angels sent this family a sign of hope after losing a loved one.

A June blog I wrote about angels in the guise of butterflies generated so much interest, I wanted to tell one more:

Kim Wencl lost her 20-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, in September of 2003. Elizabeth was a student at the University of Minnesota and a fire broke out in her duplex. She and two of her roommates died of smoke inhalation.

Losing a child at any age is probably the most devastating blow that anyone can experience, and this family was no different. “As we began the difficult task of planning her funeral,” says Kim, “my Mom, Liz’s grandmother, insisted that we release butterflies at the cemetery. We all thought it was a great idea, but no one knew where to find butterflies, not even the local florist.”

Butterflies are a sign of hope and life to many, and this family needed hope that they would see Elizabeth again. 

Kim’s mother scoured the internet and found a Florida company that supplied butterflies. “I considered this to be somewhat of a miracle because my mother is elderly and on a very good day she can barely remember how to use a computer,” says Kim.

Despite her deep emotional turmoil, Kim’s mother ordered the butterflies and they arrived in time. 

After the funeral and the graveside service, Liz’s family released the precious little collection, expecting them to fly away. But they didn’t. Except for a few, the butterflies hovered around the mourners. “Many landed on us, or fluttered over the casket and the large funeral sprays that lay on it,” Kim recalls. “One butterfly landed on Elizabeth’s sister, Anna, and it stayed on her. It didn’t want to leave. Everyone sort of gasped as the significance of it set in.”

The following day Liz’s grandmother visited the grave. As she stood and stared at the overturned earth and all of the flowers strewn upon it, she thought, Liz, if you are okay, please give me a sign.

After a few minutes, Gran began to walk back home. Soon, two butterflies flew up right in front of her, seemingly out of nowhere. It was Liz, her grandmother knew. All was well.

“Elizabeth is always present in our lives,” Kim says today, some seven years later. “She has let us all know in so many different ways.”

God does not abandon his children in our times of grief. He has promised that He will send us whatever we need to endure, and He does. Even butterflies. 

For more information on ordering butterflies visit butterfliesetc.com.

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