The Butterfly Diaries: Elijah's Butterfly

September 2, 2018

By Sanda Rathamone
September 2, 2018

Stock photo
"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty." - Maya Angelou

(From a previous blog post: Yellow For Elijah

"During the [end of my] fourth month [of pregnancy], my husband and I went on a very determined and successful fishing trip. We had never caught a large haul of crappie, like that day when I was pregnant. 

Sometimes, we revisit the memory of that day and believe that Elijah had made that fishing trip one of the best we've had in a long time. 

Before we left with our cooler-full-of-fish, I saw the biggest butterfly, which again I had never seen before. The sight of it was so new to my eyes and it brought this magical feeling. I followed it and it landed on the wet sandy part of the shore that looked like a small three-foot beach. I took a photo of it and on our way home, I did a google search and found that the butterfly was a yellow swallowtail. 

I never saw the yellow swallowtail again, until weeks had passed on from Elijah's death. Ever since then, the yellow swallowtail follows me around in the most magical of ways, never ceasing to surprise me, like the first time I had witnessed its black-yellow beauty on that fishing trip (I documented these sightings on my Instagram page)." 

That is the story of how Elijah's Butterfly was born. 

Even though these sightings are posted on my Instagram page, I am not actively using my account due to grief. I decided to share my encounters with Elijah's Butterfly on my blog, so that I can continue "documenting" this magical journey. 

Elijah's Butterfly is a Yellow Tiger Swallowtail. 

I have seen his butterfly (in real time) fluttering by every now and then. I also have to admit that it's tough getting a photo of a butterfly - they're so fast! However, Elijah's Butterfly doesn't always appear in animal form, but also in plenty of other ways (non-animal form), which makes taking a photo of his butterfly so much easier! 

I made a timeline of my encounters with Elijah's Butterfly, starting from the most recent to past encounters and added a blurb to explain the whole event. If and when there is a new sighting, I will update this post. I hope that you enjoy the magic of signs from heaven and that a loved one sends you their own butterfly or perhaps an animal that you associate with them. 

Angels are everywhere. 

You can read more about Elijah's Butterfly on: Day 23: Something That Reminds Me of You


ƸӜƷ Butterfly 9 & 10 ƸӜƷ


My #HPBHaul
  • September 2, 2018: "For about a week, I’ve known about the Labor Day 20% off sale at HPB. I’ve also been pretty quiet about it, not telling my husband because our trips to the bookstore are usually for me, not him. There are so many books I haven’t yet read or opened and sitting on my shelf, but I can’t deny a book sale, especially if it’s at my favorite bookstore. 

We decided to go today. I spent about 20 or 30 minutes in the store not knowing what to look for. I even went to the same three or four sections two times each because I was so indecisive. I wasn’t going to get anything and a tad disappointed that on a sale, I couldn’t find anything good. My last resort was the self-help section before I would leave the store empty handed. I saw a book that I thought was titled “Journaling.” It actually turns out to be “Journalution.” I thought, how strange was that word? Little did I know that I was attracted to that book for a reason. 

Right on the cover was Elijah’s Butterfly! I hugged the book and smiled because Elijah had led me to this book. When I was going to give up, I got a sign, as if Elijah was telling me "never give up." I didn’t want to grab just one book, so I turned around and looked at the shelf behind me. I got low on the floor and sat down, saw a book with a tittle that had the word “butterfly” on it. I grabbed it and turned to it’s cover. I gasped and began to giggle. An employee asked if everything was OK and all I could do was give him my biggest smile and told him that everything was (indeed, very much) OK. I left the store with three books. Today was a good day. I felt loved and watched over. My next journey will definitely be journaling."


 ƸӜƷ Butterfly 7 & 8 ƸӜƷ



  • April 25, 2018: "It's been awhile since I've seen Elijah's Butterfly (not that I don't see his other signs). My encounters with Elijah's Butterfly [always] feel like a very warm, tight hug from someone who loves me so much, which of course is from Elijah. I went to the bookstore today and found some great books for a great price! Can't beat $2! I found a book with Elijah's Butterfly on it and knew that I had to grab it. I later walked around and looked at some other books. 

When I turned a corner, I was surprised to run into a calendar with Elijah's Butterfly!! I had to grab this, too! I'm on this redecorating mission for my bedroom back at my dad's. I'm hoping to turn it into a meditation room. Nothing in my room has Elijah's things in it (except when I bring his bear with me) and I wished I had more of Elijah's things to incorporate in my redecorating. Well, Elijah led me to ANOTHER butterfly calendar (the first one is at home on our bedroom wall). It's always a magical, fluttery feeling with Elijah's Butterfly." 

Unfortunately, my dad moved away and my redecorating mission failed. (Related Read: My Dad Leaves Us A Maybe Baby Room)


 ƸӜƷ Butterfly 6  ƸӜƷ


  • December 25, 2017: "We went to a gift shop. I wouldn't have seen Elijah's Butterfly if I hadn't looked at the bottom shelf. Christmas wasn't exactly without Elijah." 

Our anniversary is on Christmas. Every year, my husband and I stroll around late at night in the casino. We've never really explored the gift shops, but that year, we decided to check one out. I was happy that we did; it was a good way to end the night. 


 ƸӜƷ Butterfly 5 ƸӜƷ


  • December 13, 2017: "Twice in a row - I just posted days ago about how I saw the yellow swallowtail on a calendar! I was at a used bookstore and unexpectedly saw this gift box on the counter display. ELIJAH'S BUTTERFLY! It always makes me happy when his butterfly visits me in the most unexpected places." 

I remember asking the lady at the counter if I could take a picture of it. I felt like it was such a dumb question, but she smiled and happily said, "Yes, you may!" I later noticed that she was wearing a butterfly necklace , in which said she got from a friend who bought it from the shop across the street. The butterfly was in blue. I wish I bought the gift box (even if I would never use it), it would have been perfect to keep it inside Elijah's memory box. 


 ƸӜƷ Butterfly 4 ƸӜƷ


  • December 10, 2017: "I was looking for crafty items to make Elijah's ornament. I went from the arts and crafts aisle to the holiday section, then headed to the children's toys. I happened to walk past the calendar display in the middle of an aisle and this big yellow butterfly jumped out at me! It's ELIJAH'S BUTTERFLY! I knew that Elijah was comforting me after a harsh night of grief. I just posted a blog about how I have given up hope for a rainbow baby and Elijah was letting me know that I am being encouraged and loved by my angels. There is no doubt in that I had to buy the calendar. And I did." 


  • November 15, 2017: "I was walking past the very same art gallery that I visited about a month-and-a-half-ago and saw this displayed just at the front of the door. It stopped me dead in my tracks to look at it!"  

This was on my 25th birthday when I wasn't feeling in a celebratory mood. I spent most of my day at the beach, then later walked around the shopping center and happened to see the canvas as I passed by. The photo of the canvas was actually taken from a distance (from the front entrance of the gallery) because the lady working there told me that the artists didn't want people taking up close photos of their works. I had to crop and maximize this photo! I felt that Elijah was "cheering" me up because seeing this made me feel better.

 ƸӜƷ Butterfly 2 ƸӜƷ



  • October 1, 2017: "Strolling through an art gallery and I found this! The butterfly that I associate with Elijah! I bought it and will frame it on his wall. I've been having a rough night and day and for some reason, grief seems to be hitting hard for awhile. But after I saw this, it made me feel better." 

I found this among a shelf of cards. It is now in a frame on Elijah's Wall with his other photos





It all started with this butterfly, exactly two weeks before Elijah died. 

 ƸӜƷ Butterfly 1 ƸӜƷ



  • June 2, 2016: "Saw a lot of butterflies today on our fishing trip and I got so close to this one! :)" 




With love,

Must Read: 
Read the full story about Elijah:
Elijah's Story: From Gender Reveal To A Spontaneous Delivery

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