Swallow Tail Butterfly

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IMG_6386Kathleen Johnson Fitzgerald
~for my husband, Tom

 The significance of my yellow and black swallowtail butterfly tattoo originated at my husband, Tom’s, burial.  To begin, it is important to know that my husband had a great love of cars and at the time of his passing, he owned a yellow and black Jeep.  While Tom was being buried, a yellow and black swallowtail butterfly fluttered around all our loving family and friends.  I, personally, never even saw the butterfly at the cemetery, but it was after Tom’s burial when we invited family and friends to join us at a luncheon, that I learned of its presence at the service.

As I stopped and talked to family and friends at the luncheon, the common comment was,  “Did you notice that beautiful yellow and black swallowtail?”  Later that night, something inspired me to search butterflies on the computer and what I found delighted me.  I found out that some cultures believe the butterfly carries a person’s soul to heaven.  My belief is that butterfly was Tom giving his final send off.  Since that day, I’ve had many visits from various yellow and black swallowtail butterflies — sometimes at very significant times and other times more random.  It has been a gift to me in my grief.  It reminds me that Tom is still with me forever in my heart.  I decided to get my butterfly tattoo with Tom’s initials on my ankle because I wanted to be able to easily see it and in a way, wear it to honor Tom and his memory.


Copyright © behind-the-ink, Nancy Perlson