You may (or may not) have noticed a dragonfly on the mural. Today I'd like to tell you about it.
A few days after Sam's funeral, a good, old (not old as in elderly, but old as in I've known her since high school) friend called and told me she was going to drop something off for us. A little while later she drove up, put an envelope in my hand, and then drove off again.
In the envelope was a letter, and a lovely dragonfly ornament (which now hangs just below a framed photo of Samuel - the one we had on display at his funeral - in our lounge room) :
In the accompanying note, my friend told us about how at the funeral, she and our other friends watched a dragonfly fly into the chapel, perch on the curtains (near where Samuel's friends were standing) for a while, and then hover over our (Sam's family) heads. Apparantly it did so for a while, and then flew away.
I had never noticed the dragonfly, and neither had Anthony or Oliver, but my Dad had seen it near the curtains.
In some cultures, dragonflies are a very significant. They are different things to different people, but commonly they are said to represent renewal, positive forces, and change. The native Americans believe that dragonflies are the souls of the dead.
Now as I have said before, I'm not an enormously spiritual person, but for some reason this story touched me. Some of it was that my lovely friend had also been so touched by this that she went out of her way to find the dragonfly ornament, but some of it was also a hope that the dragonfly was (in some way) telling us that everything was OK.
Maybe it was just a coincidence (there are many water features in the grounds of the crematorium), but then again, maybe it was the spirit of Sam. I'm not prepared to discount that altogether, even though I don't know if I understand it.
Whatever the explanation, all of us were happy to take on the dragonfly as a symbol for Sam. Dragonflies are beautiful things, and it gave us something tangible to plant a memory in. Some would say we are silly, superstitious, maybe even hypocritical considering my feelings about religion and 'the soul', but it has been a nice symbol to use.
I felt so strongly about it, that I bought this brooch in Merimbula (please excuse the picture quality, I will take a better one later):
I never buy jewelery, in fact, I hardly even wear it, but I was drawn to this and Anthony convinced me to buy it. I think it's beautiful.
It's funny too, we never noticed (or saw) dragonflies in the past, except this one that landed on the door of our unit when we first went to Merimbula in 2004:
But now we see them everywhere. I know it's because of a consciousness thing (we're subconsciously looking for them?), but it still gives us a little thrill when we see one. When we went to Merimbula in January, one was flying along with us as we drove through Mimosa Rocks National Park; when we went blackberry picking recently there was one just sitting on a plant; and Anthony told me about the one that hovered around him while he was working in the back yard, then hovered over the playground (we have a big playground in out backyard that we bought when Oliver was born, so that Sam would have something to do if baby care got too boring for him), flew around the yard a bit and then flew off.
Each time this has happened we think of Sam, and a little bit of us believes that it's him keeping an eye on us. I kinda like that he is...