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]La Mariposa 

by Viva Eulalia


I have always been a little clairvoyant in a way that my senses just seem extra awake. For years, I would tell my mom that when I died she should not fear but be ready for me to make contact. I told her that my main goal would be to communicate with her. She would giggle and shake her head in a way that I knew meant, “What a strange little girl you are”. So here, we are…Mom passed away five days ago. It does not seem real to me. It is like one of my many dreams or nightmares and soon I know I will wake up. When John, the  well-known purse peddler in the neighborhood walked into the hair salon yesterday I had to remind myself that I did not have to look for a black bag for mom anymore.

Monday, December 9, 2012

Today was the funeral. It is noticeably hard for my siblings and myself but I feel like my papa had the hardest time. Maybe it’s because he had been with her for so long. They were so young when they met and married or perhaps it is because he had no other family besides us in this country. My dad has always been a strong, ridged reliable man. Growing up I thought nothing could go wrong as long as he was near me. Today and every day since her passing I’ve seen a new Papa come to surface. A more vulnerable side, which makes him more human vs. a superhero. My Papa seems broken.


During the service, many family members stepped forward to share memories that they remembered. Sitting there listening I came to realize that she had been giving and been a source of support to so many, not just her immediate circle. One of those who shared was her youngest sister. She walked up and said that the morning of mom’s passing, shortly after receiving the news; she was rushing to her car to make her way to the hospital. She noticed a yellow-winged butterfly. It was flying considerably close to her face and circling around her head. Without a thought, she called it. "Sofi is that you?"   Again, this very morning as she was packing food in the trunk of her car for the wake at my uncle’s home following the funeral, she saw the same yellow-winged butterfly. It was circling around as if trying to get her attention.

Tuesday, December 10, 2012

Today was my day off. Noah's school is located very close to the cemetery where we just buried mom. I feel like yesterday was so packed and busy that I did not get proper time to say goodbye. I decided to head over an hour early before school was let out. As I’m walking to find the site, I had to stop and try to remember the direction in which to walk. The previous day I just followed the crowd of people to the area with the temporary tent over it. Today there is nobody but me and not a tent in sight. As I’m ready to take a step in the direction that, I hope is the right one a yellow butterfly practically lands on my nose. It is persistent and I even have to pull my head back because I want a better look. It disappeared as quickly as it presented itself. I called to it, “mom” but it was completely out of sight.


I found the spot that we buried mom the day before. I thanked her for being such a good mother to us. I thanked for teaching by example, patience, compassion, humility and unconditional love. I said, “Mom you were too good to us, you gave us even more than we deserved. I know I should not ask for anything from you but I have only one thing I need from you. I know what I have been told and taught my entire life about heaven, but since this is about you, I need for you to somehow or someway let me know you are okay wherever it is you are. I will not be okay not knowing if you are okay. If I can know that you are okay, I promise I will be okay too.  Even if I have to pick up aluminum cans to survive. I do not want you to ever worry anymore. If we are sad and cry it is because we are human, we miss you because you meant everything to us.”

December 12, 2012

My mornings are a frenzy of packing Noah's lunch, getting myself presentable for work, and walking him up thirty minutes before we walk out the door. I wait as long as possible to wake him up so that he can rest as much as possible. Today while I helped Noah get dressed, he was extra sleepy. He sat up and I proceeded to put on his socks and shoes. Suddenly he seemed be more alert. He exclaimed, “Momma I had a dream. I was chasing a butterfly, her wings were yellow and her name was Sofia…she almost landed on my nose.” When I heard my child say this, I for a moment honestly questioned my sanity. I continued to not look up because I did not want him to see my tears flowing down my cheeks. I only asked him, “Is she okay?” to which he answered with fully awakened confidence, “Momma she is happy she’s a butterfly”


At the time of the funeral, Noah had earphones on because of his sensitivity to loud noise. He has autism and was unaware of any of our butterfly encounters.



Vivi Eulalia emigrated from Peru at a very young age.  She is the author of this short story. She currently resides in Florida with her youngest son and their dog Cinnamon. If you would like to contact her, please email us at or visit us on social media.