Thanks to Megan Devine for seeing and speaking the truth.
Posted @withrepost * @refugeingrief The butterfly: such a common symbol of transformation. All wiggly dark parts, all mysterious and hidden, erupting from its safe cocoon into the bright, winged world. What was closed, dark, and probably painful is now so very beautiful! * * Hogwash. It's an insect. A gorgeous one, yes. A useful one, yes. But a guiding metaphor for grief? No. * * Here's why it doesn't work: ---There's that subtle implication that who you were Before grief happened in your life was somehow "less than" who you are now, or who you might become. * * ---Even well-meaning encouragement to "become the butterfly!" has its subtext: please become the butterfly already, because this whole cocoon thing has gone on too long. * * ---You can't rush the cocoon. That cocoon is there for a reason. The changing heart, the changing life - they not only deserve a protected space, that protected space is REQUIRED for whatever is to come. * * ---Transformation is not the goal of grief. It may SEEM like the goal if you're on the outside looking in. But the reality is, transformation is not required. Not everyone comes through their grief "even better than before." * * Some people DO transform. And plenty of people are not improved by grief. Some people die in their grief, or become smaller and harder in their grief. * * I would guess that the vast majority of people don't fall squarely into either camp: they are neither transformed nor destroyed. They simply continue to be who they are, carrying their love with them, into whatever new world comes next. * * The truth is, you can't force a metaphor on anyone. A symbol is only a symbol if you choose it yourself; if it resonates and speaks to you. No one can decide for another what has true, deep meaning for them. * * #GriefSupport, true support, allows the person in pain to find their own way, in their own time, with respect for who they are, who they have been, and who they are as they become. * * That's the transformation. That's the gift you can give someone in pain. * * How about you? Does the image of the #butterfly work for you? What other images have you been given in your #grief? * #megandevine #griefandloss