Saturday, October 24, 2009


The Redbirds came to visit me this morning.... letting me know they were here by that distinctive chirp! I was enjoying the morning light as it came through the trees and cast its good morning shadow on the hanging Spanish moss, the dew glistening on the edges. Quite lovely to be sure, a beautiful still morning. And then they came; the Cardinals as we call them today. State bird of Virginia, my hometown! I do love them and their beautiful sound and color. Here on this lovely October morning they were visiting me and I began to reflect on how many times I have seen them when visiting with those who are grieving. It seems that they are messengers, perhaps their visit this morning was to prompt this blog. A reminder of sorts; it seems the cardinal makes its visit often to those who are grieving I have noticed. Particularly to parents or grandparents who have lost children whether small or big, little or grown. I can remember counseling a family whose child had died a horrible death one day and while they were talking about the need for some kind of sign that their child was at peace, I happened to glance at the window which was behind them and noticed the most beautiful brilliant Redbird staring in at us! I quietly told them they were being watched and as they looked behind them both exclaimed, "Oh my how she loved Cardinals!" And right there was the Cardinal just sitting patiently, waiting for them to only notice, only open their eyes and their hearts to receive the gift of its presence. The Redbird, the Cardinal, the winged one sent to them on that painful day of telling their story.
The Legend:
The Cherokee Story of the Sun's Daughter Becoming the Red Bird

Many moons ago the sun had a human form, it was that of a most beautiful woman. She traveled each day across the sky. Her daughter lived in the center of the sky, and each day the sun would stop to visit her. As time went by, the sun lingered longer each day, and these extended visits caused drought and precious crops to die.
The Cherokee people went to the little men for their advice. They were told they must kill the sun.
The people asked the rattlesnake to kill the sun for them. He coiled beside the door, and when the daughter opened the door for her mother, he struck. The brilliance of the sun had blinded him, and he had struck the daughter in error and she died.

The sun veiled herself in clouds to mourn her daughter, and the rains caused flooding. The little men told the Cherokee that they must go to the land of the dead and bring back the spirit of her daughter.

Seven of the bravest warriors, armed with Bois D'arc sticks, traveled to the land of the dead. Striking the spirit seven times, they put her in a large box to travel home. The spirit awoke. "I am so thirsty," she said; they ignored her. "I am so hungry," she said; again they ignored her. Suddenly she cried, "I can't breathe, I will surely die!"

The Cherokee became frightened and opened the box a tiny bit. With that tiny opening, spirit flitted out and became the Red Bird. She started calling out to her mother, who pushed back the clouds to see her daughter. Her mother was pleased to see her daughter in her new red dress.
So there you have it, the Legend of the Redbird, what we now know as the Cardinal! Is it any wonder that this winged one brings comfort to those who are grieving the loss of a child/grandchild? Spirit knows!

Butterflies are also known to visit parents, grandparents, and just about everyone after a loss. I think I have decided that it is the butterfly spirit trying to remind us of the beauty that continues in life.... It is the butterfly  and the spirit of those we love that reminds us. It is in the struggle, the very struggle that the butterfly must go through to survive. Freeing itself from the chrysalis with struggling and beating its wings allows it to survive. No one can assist the butterfly in that process. It is in beating its wings that it develops the strength that is needed to survive and fly! Are we that different? It is in our very struggle that we find the warrior within and know that we are in fact Survivors. Celebrate the survivor that you are, dance and find peace in the messages you receive, they are gifts from the other side, gifts to be cherished... and they are yours!

The winged ones come to visit those who have other losses as well; often they appear to daughter's or son's who have lost partners or parents or friends.... but it seems with those losses the winged ones are often messengers of wisdom. Hawks, Eagle spirits, sometimes Owls.... perhaps with age comes the power and insight often needed for those grieving losses of Elders or significant others! I don't know, can't give you empirical studies, I just know it to be true!
What I do know is that the messengers are there, if we but open our eyes and our hearts....
Look around you.... the gifts are everywhere!
Walk In Beauty


Anonymous said...

For our family it's a rainbow. Chris proposed to Emily on the beach and a stranger took their picture on this happy occasion, and there was a beautiful rainbow behind them. Emily still carries that picture in her wallet.

The morning Chris died there was an early morning thunder storm. As Emily and I said our goodbys to him and left hospice house, there in front of us was a huge rainbow. We knew he arrived "home" with the Lord safe and sound.

I was driving Bryce to school on the morning of his 9th birthday on October 8th, and we saw this beautiful rainbow as we drove to school. Chris had come to wish his son a happy birthday. Bryce was so touched.

I just wanted to share this with you. For some it's a red bird, for us, it's a rainbow that only shows up on important occasions.

God bless.

Jeanne Original Message -----

Anonymous said...

Tears are flowing, I read one sentence OUT LOUD to gain composure.

The red bird, butterfly and " signs " just dig up all those feelings and I have been so

out of touch lately and not allowed myself to see and feel

I miss your sessions in a way and in another way, I do not, cause I cry, well up and want to lose it.

Perhaps, I need to read your writings and begin to experience again, however it makes me feel.

Thanks, Sherry ( I think )................... have a good one. Irene

Heather said...

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