Glowing Butterfly
Page Title Glowing Phoenix
heart Home
heart Section Home

heart Symbolism of Butterflies
heart Butterfly for Transformation
heart Myths
heart Poems
heart Quotes
heart Stories
heart Butterfly Images

heart Symbolism of Blazes
heart Poems
heart Quotes
heart Resources for Male Visitors
heart Phoenix Images

Grief AIDE:
heart Surviving Loss by SoaringTM
heartImages of SoaringTM
heartTransitional Medicine
heartQuotes & Lyrics

heart Site Map

JofH Ethics Logo This website
follows the HON Code of Conduct
Leaving Site , the AMA's
Guidelines for Medical & Health Information Sites on the Internet Leaving Site
and the eHealth Code of Ethics Leaving Site.

Site created with Zope. Zope Logo

. .

~ Butterfly for Transformation ~

The butterfly was selected to be the primary symbolic representation for Journey of Heartsbecause it undergoes a major transformation process as part of its normal life cycle. The butterfly was also chosen because many view it as a symbol of joy, happiness, of spring, rebirth and renewal. This beautiful insect also evokes an image that is mild and gentle, one that can touch the heart during difficult times and one of strength—think of the migration of the monarchs.

In the grief process, the bereaved person must learn how to deal with the loss, or significant change. Many people may hide away from the rest of the world much like being in a cocoon while trying to heal. This cocoon phase is one of transformation and often introspection and reflection. The process ends as the person emerges from their cocoon, metamorphosed into a different person. Thus the transformation of the grieving process is much like the story of the butterfly.

Drawing on the symbolism of the butterfly used for Journey of Hearts, we expanded on this to create the Butterfly for Transformation.

The Mission
The Mission of the Butterfly for Transformation is to be a grief AIDE in the healing process of someone who has experienced a loss. This butterfly will virtually land, quietly and softly, to provide a source of strength, hope and belief for the person going through the transformation of the grieving process following a loss. Like the caterpiller, which must be cocooned before transforming into a butterfly, so too must we live through a transformation period after experiencing a loss.

Transformation Postcard

Kirsti A.Dyer, MD, MS

As the recipient "holds" and experiences the Butterfly for Transformation the image serves as a reminder that in time just as the butterfly emerges from it's cocoon, so to will he/she emerge from the loss, forever changed. Part of the grieving process involves learning to live again in a life forever changed by the loss. The basic message of the Butterfly for Transformation is that out of loss, change, death and destruction can come new life and a chance to be reborn, or to reconceive ourselves as individuals.

Sending the Butterfly for Transformation
The best way to "send" the Butterfly for Transformation is to use the Online E-cards from Journey of Hearts. Under the "Send a Butterfly" section are three different images to select:

  • The first, the multicolored Butterfly for Transformation at the top of the page.
  • The second, the card above with the "Transformed" quote.
  • The third, similar to the card above with the "Transformed" quote and a night sky.
Alternatively, the images can be printed directly and sent via snail mail by following these links: The Inspiration
The original inspiration for the Butterfly for Transformation was the poem I wrote near the end of my residency training entitled "Transformation."

For years
I remained
Hidden from view
Afraid to show myself
or my true colors...

.....I begin to unfold my wings,
finding the courage
discovering my strength.

I take flight.

Kirsti A.Dyer, MD, MS
Multicolored Butterfly

This poem was my "Birthday Poem," in 1995, written after taking a class called "Renewing Life." For the first time in years, I felt that I was starting to emerge from under the dazed-state of fatigue and resulting depression that I had functioned through during Medical School and my intern years. This poem was read as my introduction a few months later as I graduated from my residency program at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital...forever transformed by the medical education process. In hindsight I can now see that instead of suffering from depression, I was dealing, or more appropriately not dealing with, a series of major and cumulative losses, both personal and professional. Working through these losses have given me the insight and the background to explore this important, emerging area.

Further inspiration for the Butterfly for Transformation came in the spring of 1998. I had the unique opportunity to participate in a butterfly release when we were visiting Hawaii. The place had 5 butterflies left. I released one in memory of the 4 most influential people for me in the creation of this site, and the fifth for hope. This experience was captured in the poem "Message of Hope":

The message of hope
Touching the spirit
Teaching to begin anew
Transforming the wish into hope
on the radiant wing of a butterfly.

Kirsti A.Dyer, MD, MS
Butterfly Release

Understanding the grief response and discovering resources that may be helpful in coping with the loss can be of great benefit in working throught this process. Part of the grieving process involves learning to live again in a life forever changed by the loss. In time, the grieving person emerges from the dark cocooned phase, incorporates the change and metamorphoses into a different person. The basic message of the Butterfly for Transformation is that out of loss, change, death and destruction can come new life.

Transforming the wish into hopeMulticolored Butterfly
on the radiant wing of a butterfly.

Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS
See the Emergency 911 Page for links to immediate resources
if you are feeling helpless, hopeless, overwhelmingly depressed, or suicidal.

Home | A Healing Place | Loss & Grief | Emergency Pick-Me-Ups | Condolence & Sympathy
What's New? | Resources | Transitional Medicine | Butterflies & Blazes
About this Site | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
Information on this site is designed to support, not replace, an existing physician-patient, provider-patient relationship. We regret that we are unable to answer any specific medical, mental or health related emails. Please contact your health care provider if you need specific questions answered. Terms of Use and Privacy Statement.
All material, unless otherwise specified, is © 1997-2003 by Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS of Journey of Hearts. Information on this site may be shared with others, but not in for-profit ventures without permission.
For more information see our full Copyright.

To contact the Domain Designer regarding the website or to use materials on this website send email to
Orange Butterfly

Last update March 1, 2002