The cocoons were beautiful from every angle.
Soon we had dozens of them. Not a single one was formed while we were watching, although we had a house full of people who were constantly checking on them. They are modest little creatures I think, and deserve some level of privacy.
And then one day we saw that one of them had turned completely black. The directions we had didn't really mention this. My heart turned to stone because I thought that if they were dying, I wouldn't be able to handle the feelings of sadness, loss, and failure. So I got all philosophical and talked about nature and the unknown number of butterfly diseases and how no one is ever in control of anything.
But if you look very very closely, you can actually see the butterfly wings right through the cocoon.
On the day of the memorial we had lots of these. But no butterflies. It was like being two weeks overdue for your baby to be born. To keep things in perspective I just repeatedly put my heart into surrender mode, and let my brain talk to me about the relative size of a potential loss, as compared to an actual loss that has already happened and that we all have proven we could survive. In essence, I built a cocoon around my heart, to protect the fragile thing.