[15MAY1998] — Twenty years ago this day, a beautiful spirit came forth into this world. She touched a lot of hearts and souls with her light, in her time on this Earth, and that light continues to shine in the lives of her family and friends three years after her passing. Today, I felt her light.

This year, we met at her tree in the park—just a few of her close friends and family. I wanted to express to everyone that it was time to move on, live our lives and be the best we could be in her eyes. She would always watch over us; but she would want us to go on. I thought the symbolism of a butterfly would express this notion well. A butterfly symbolizes beauty and light: a new freedom born from the Earth-bound. As we gathered around her tree, we each released butterflies in her honor and memory. Some of the butterflies flew away immediately; some flew up to a branch on her tree; others stayed awhile and got to know us. Mine, in particular, didn’t seem to want to leave...I can truly say what a “butterfly kiss” feels like now, for my little friend flew up to my face, kissing me all the way! It was awesome! It crawled to the top of my head, then flew to a branch on her tree.

When the photos taken that afternoon were developed, several of them seemed to show some sort of “light source” in the picture. The one of me with the butterfly on my cheek had a big, reddish glow above my head. I know Krissy was there with us—I just know and believe.

The following poem was written by a young woman who named her little girl after Krissy. It’s titled “Angelic Butterfly.” I read it just before we released the butterflies.

Mystical, beautiful, captivating spirit
Take flight, little delicate soul.
Ever-changing as life’s precious gift
Spun in a coccoon to grow
As you shed your new-born skin
Watch how magical you become
So vibrant and so full of life
As you fly into the sun
Spread your wings to freedom above
How you glisten in the heaven’s sky
You remind me of a spirit I once knew
Sweet, Angelic Butterfly....

Butterfly, butterfly...fly away. I release you in the sweet memory of Krissy.

P.S. After the sun went down and the people had gone, I sat down and reflected on what a beautiful experience the butterflies had been to everyone. Then I looked down and noticed the tattoo on my ankle: a butterfly! It was “our” tattoo :)