Poems & Readings



Butterfly Funeral Poems


A Symbol of Hope

A Symbol of Hope
A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam
And for a brief moment its glory
and beauty belong to our world
But then it flies again
And though we wish it could have stayed...
We feel lucky to have seen it.

Am Always With You
When I am gone, release me, let me go.
I have so many things to see and do,
You mustn't tie yourself to me with too many tears,
But be thankful we had so many good years.
I gave you my love, and you can only guess
How much you've given me in happiness.
I thank you for the love that you have shown,
But now it is time I traveled on alone.
So grieve for me a while, if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust
That it is only for a while that we must part,
So treasure the memories within your heart.
I won't be far away for life goes on.
And if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can't see or touch me, I will be near
And if you listen with your heart, you'll hear
All my love around you soft and clear
And then, when you come this way alone,
I'll greet you with a smile and a "Welcome Home".
Messenger of God
Oh, Little Butterfly,
Messenger of God,
When I see you in the sky
I cannot help but nod.
You bring me respite
From grief and despair
Every time I see you
Sailing through the air.
You renew my faith
In all God's wondrous plan,
And I know it's all in FAITH,
Not in what I understand.
Kathryn Poland (4-12-01)

Do not stand by my grave and weep
For I am not there.
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am diamonds that glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush of butterflies in joyous flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there.
I did not die.


Butterfly Memorial Poem
A rush of wings
they flutter high
to touch the sun
and kiss the sky
A butterfly
is with us now
No more a caterpillar
upon a leaf
(Person's Name) with angel wings
A soaring butterfly
with us they sing
Lili Pintea-Reed copyright 2002
for the IBBA


Butterfly Benediction
May the morning sun caress you,
The rains of change refresh you,
And the gentle breeze of His Spirit
Lift the wings of your transformation.
by Richard D. Breen, copyright 2003
Dedicated to my mother,
Frances F. Breen, 81


On The Wings Of Hope
As an ancient legend goes;
If anyone desires a wish to come true,
they must capture a butterfly and whisper that wish to it.
Since butterflies make no sound,
They can’t tell that wish to anyone but the Great Spirit,
So by making the wish and releasing the butterfly,
It will be taken to the heavens and be granted.
Although this legend implies that we should keep our wishes silent,
there are some wishes that need to be expressed out loud.
To those that have been touched by the disease we are helping to fight today,
We wish the caregivers strength and tranquility,
and thank them for their gifted labor of love.
We wish the survivors a long and happy life,
and thank them for showing us how to fight with courage and determination.
We wish those currently fighting the battle energy and hope,
and thank them for showing us what true bravery is all about.
And finally, we wish the victims peace and love,
and thank them for the joy and happiness they brought to us.
With this symbolic gesture, we honor those that have left us and encourage
those left behind to continue the fight “On the Wings of Hope”.

As you release this butterfly in honor of me,
know that I'm with you and will always be.
Hold a hand, say a prayer,
close your eyes and see me there.
Although you may feel a bit torn apart,
please know that I'll be forever in your heart.
Now fly away butterfly as high as you can go,
I'm right there with you more than you know.
By Jill Haley


While Waiting for Thee:
Don't weep at my grave, for I am not there,
I've a date with a butterfly to dance in the air.
I'll be singing in the sunshine, wild and free,
Playing tag with the wind, while I'm waiting for thee.
~~ We are as the wings of a butterfly, bound together with the love of God~~
Jenn, The Butterfly Box

From Dan & Zane Greathouse:
A couple of weeks ago, we filled an order for a 22 year-old's
funeral, and we received this funeral poem.

"A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam.
And for a brief moment its glory and beauty
belong to our world.
But then it flies on again,
and though we wish it could have stayed,
we feel so lucky to have seen it."

On the back of the paper it says:

"Today we celebrate life with the release of butterflies.
The animals you have been given will emerge from their envelopes
and alight on your hand for a moment before flying off.
Butterflies, a symbol of life, and freedom, were always special to
When instructed, please open the envelope and allow the butterfly to emerge on its own. It may take a few moments for the beautiful creature to adjust to the light and temperature
before it flies off.
These animals are natives, will thrive and insure the continuation of their species,
keeping memory alive."


My Dearest Daughter

It's been two years since you were suddenly taken away.
My memory of that day is no longer clear,
but I know the pain can not be washed away with tears.
You are everywhere I look, the sky, the clouds,
a running brook, waves in the ocean.
Now in God's arms you are safe.
Never again will I see your smiling face.
But this photograph in my mind will never be erased.
In time, I'll see you in that Wonderful Place.
Until then my Daughter, your Spirit is with us always.
Soar with the Butterflies and Sleep with the Angels.


I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below
With tiny lights like Heaven's stars, reflecting on the snow.
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away the tear
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear
But the sounds of music can't compare with the Christmas choir up here.
I have no words to tell you, the joy their voices bring,
For it is beyond description, to hear the angels sing.
I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart.
But I am not so far away, We really aren't apart.
So be happy for me, dear ones, You know I hold you dear.
And be glad I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I sent you each a special gift, from my heavenly home above,
I sent you each a memory of my undying love.
After all love is a gift more precious than pure gold.
It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.
Please love and keep each other, as my Father said to do.
For I can't count the blessing or love he has for each of you.
So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear.
Remember, I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year
As the Lord had finished creating the earth, something was missing
so he chose pieces from all the flowers, threw them into the sky
and blew life into them and the butterflies were born.
From an Easter service attended by
Penny Wilson of Monarch Meadows.

This story was sent in by Tammy in honor of her son Christopher

In a green meadow filled with Milkweed and flowers there lived a colony of
caterpillars. They were a happy colony, living a quiet life in the cool
shade. For many months they were very busy,
scurrying around and munching on the soft Milkweed leaves.

They did notice that every once in a while one of the colony seemed to lose
interest in crawling around with its friends. It would go off alone and
crawl high up in the trees. It gradually moved out of sight and was seen no

“Look!” said one of the caterpillars to another, “one of our colony is
climbing up to the tops of the trees. Where do you think he is going?”  Up,
up and up it slowly went…even as they watched, the caterpillar disappeared
from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it didn’t return.

“That’s funny!” said one caterpillar to another. “Wasn’t he happy here?”
asked another. “Where do you suppose he went ?” wondered a third. No one
had an answer. They were greatly puzzled.

Finally one of the caterpillars gathered its friends together. “I have an
idea. The next one of us who climbs to the tops of the trees must promise
to come back and tell us where he or she went and why.”
“We promise…” they all said solemnly.

One spring day not long after the caterpillar who had suggested the plan
found himself climbing high up into the trees. Up up and up he went, higher
and higher into the trees. Before he knew what was happening he had broken
through the canopy of leaves into the warm sunlight and fell into a deep

When he awoke he looked about in surprise. He couldn’t believe what he saw.
A startling change had come over his old body. He now had beautiful wings!

Even as he struggled he felt an impulse to move his wings. The warmth of
the sun soon dried the moisture from his new body. He moved his wings again
and suddenly found himself flying into the blue sky.

He had become a butterfly. Swooping and dipping in great curves he flew
through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere.
By and by the new butterfly landed on a leaf to rest. Then it was that he
chanced to look below to the bottom of the meadow. Why, he was right above
his old friends the caterpillars! There they were, crawling around and munching on Milkweed, just as he had been doing before.

Then the butterfly remembered his promise. Without thinking the butterfly
darted down. He landed on a flower and looked into the grass. Now that he
was a butterfly he could no longer go back.

  “I can’t return!” he said in dismay. “At least I tried, but I can’t keep
my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the caterpillars would know
me in my new body. I guess I’ll just have to wait until they become
butterflies too. Then they’ll understand what has happened to me and where
I went.”

And the butterfly winged off happily into its new world of sun and air.
Dear God, please remember those who have left the meadow we live in…and
remember us who are still here.



More Funeral Poems

Little Did We Know
Little did we know that morning that God would
call you name. In life we loved you dearly, in death we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone. For part of us went
with you the day God called you home. You left us peaceful memories,
your love is still our guide. And though we cannot see you, you are
always on our side. Our family chain is broken and nothing seems the same.
But as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again.
Safely Home
I am home in Heaven, dear ones
Oh, so happy and so bright!
There is perfect joy and beauty in this everlasting light.
All the pain and grief is over, Every restless tossing passed:
I am now at peace forever, Safely home in Heaven at last. Did
you wonder how I so calmly Trod the valley of shade?
Oh! But Jesus' love illumined every dark and fearful glade.
And he came himself to meet me in that way so hard to tread.
And with Jesus' arm to lean on, could have no doubt or dread.
Then you must not grieve so sorely, For I love you dearly still:
Try to look beyond earth's shadows, Pray to trust our Father's will.
There is work still waiting for you. So you must not idly stand:
Do it now, while life remaineth - You shall rest in Jesus' land
when that work is all completed. He will gently call you home:
Oh, the rapture of that meeting, Oh, the joy to see you come!
My Beautiful Baby
I thought that the night you died was the worst of my life.
But that night I was able to hold and kiss you.
I have wished every day and night since then to be able to do the same,
but can only dream of it now.
Some nights my dreams are so real, I awaken expecting to find you here with me.
Dreams and memories can make you sad for not having future times together
but they can also bring back happier times
like the day that did bring us together 44 years ago
Dear Son
It's been seven years since that tragic day. Physical tragedy brings pain
and suffering, but for us Christians there is a supernatural strength
that brings us hope, courage, and joy to keep perspective the
reality that since we are immortals in the will of God, our meeting in
Heaven is waiting for us: yes, one day we will be together again.
It is our blessed hope, and because we were saved in this hope,
we eagerly wait for our new bodies, bodies that will never be
sick again and will never die.
With Love Today
We thought of you with love today,
But this is nothing new,
We thought of you yesterday and the days before that too.
We think of you in silence and
often speak you name.
All we have now are our memories,
and you picture in a frame.
It broke our hearts to lose you,
But you didn't go alone.
A part of us went with you
The day God took you home.
Death is not the end.
Death can never be the end.
Death is the road
Life is the traveler
The Soul is the guide
Our mind thinks of death
Our heart thinks of life
Our Soul of immortality.
Beautiful Memories
A Bouquet of beautiful memories,
Sprayed with a million tears,
Wishing God could have spared you,
If just for a few more years.
We love you, we miss you and
We are proud to keep your dream and vision alive.

One Day at a Time
You lived your life one day at a time.
The words you shared were always kind.
You loved us all with your whole heart.
It saddens us to be apart, and forever we
hold you in our hearts
Today you stand in God's bright light.
Watching over us day and night.
In our hearts you will remain
Until the day we meet again...
Forever Your love will live on in our hearts
and the hearts of those you touched.
We are so grateful to God for blessing our lives with
the beautiful gift of you.
We miss you sweet angel,
more than you can imagine.

A Collection of Butterfly Poems
provided by the International Butterfly Breeders Association

A selection of butterfly quotations
researched by Jacqui Knight

I only ask to be free.  The butterflies are free. 
~Charles Dickens

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.
~Irish Blessing

Butterflies are self propelled flowers.  ~R.H. Heinlein

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.
~Rabindranath Tagore

If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies.  ~Author Unknown

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a
butterfly.  ~Richard Bach

The butterfly is a flying flower,
The flower a tethered butterfly.
~Ponce Denis Écouchard Lebrun

Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your
grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a
butterfly.  ~Richard Buckminster Fuller

"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have
sunshine, freedom and a little flower."  ~Hans Christian Anderson

But these are flowers that fly and all but sing:
And now from having ridden out desire
They lie closed over in the wind and cling
Where wheels have freshly sliced the April mire.
~Robert Frost, "Blue-Butterfly Day"

Love is like a butterfly:  It goes where it pleases and it pleases
wherever it goes.  ~Author Unknown

I've watched you now a full half-hour;
Self-poised upon that yellow flower
And, little Butterfly!  Indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless! - not frozen seas
More motionless! and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!
~William Wordsworth, "To a Butterfly"

Flowers and butterflies drift in color, illuminating spring.  ~Author

We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.
~Carl Sagan

This great purple butterfly,
In the prison of my hands,
Has a learning in his eye
Not a poor fool understands.
~William Butler Yeats, "Another Song of a Fool"

Know thyself!  A maxim as pernicious as it is ugly.  Whoever observes
himself arrests his own development.  A caterpillar who wanted to know
itself well would never become a butterfly.  ~Andre Gide

Bees sip honey from flowers and hum their thanks when they leave.
The gaudy butterfly is sure that the flowers owe thanks to him.
~Rabindranath Tagore, /Stray Birds/

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes
it has gone through to achieve that beauty.  ~Maya Angelou

The fluttering of a butterfly's wings can effect climate changes on the
other side of the planet.  ~Paul Erlich

A million butterflies rose up from South America,
All together, and flew in a gold storm toward Spain...
~Winfield Townley Scott, "Annual Legend"



That first bright step into the sunshine of life
begins with the opening of the family cocoon.
The caterpillar becomes a butterfly
spreading her wings into the world.

What she is today is but a tiny mirror.
of the transformation that is yet to come.
For with time, love, humor and warmth
She is an ever changing masterpiece.

Whether as wife, mother, career woman or all,
she will find her center of peace.
A place that is hers and hers alone,
the essence of what she is and will be.

Using the instincts that each of us have
to find the good in each other.
to be a caring friend, lover, helper and playmate,
to listen and share, to laugh and to cry.

With loving support of family and friends,
she takes flight down an unknown road towards her future,
like the rising of the sun in the east.
Each day filled with new beginnings.

Finding excitement and challenge at each new turn.
Her flight through life filled with many happy adventures
and memories to put in her book of life,
as the sun moves along that steady path across the sky.

When the sun at last begins to set in the west
and her flight nears its end, she can look back along her path
and know that she has been everything she can be
and has done her very best.

Poem by Linda Dietz


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