~ Butterflies & Blazes
When the website was originally designed in 1997,
it needed a unifying theme to symbolize the process that people go
through—from loss through transition to healing—in processing the grief
response. This process we have termed "Transitional
The main symbol used for Journey of Hearts has
been that of the butterfly since this insect undergoes a major transformation
process as part of its normal life cycle. The butterfly was also selected
because many cultures view it as a symbol of joy, happiness, of spring,
rebirth and renewal. Butterflies in several different colors were created
to represent the different sections of the site. With the redesign of the
site, the butterflies have been slightly altered; the orientation has been
changed to convey a feeling of "flight" and movement. In addition a "glow"
has been added around the butterflies to symbolize "transformation." This
positive image of transformation continues to be the obvious choice for
Use of the other symbol, the phoenix, has been
primarily within the "Butterflies & Blazes" section of the site. This
symbol was chosen to represent strength as well as transformation. The
term "Blazes" comes from a poem that written about a Phoenix rising victoriously
from the flames set out to destroy it entitled "The Blaze." In designing
the site we decided that it would be too confusing to use both themes within
the site. The phoenix is provided here as an alternative for those who
feel that the butterfly is too fragile and delicate a creature to be used
as a symbol of the grieving process. The phoenix, the ancient mythical
creature that is consumed by flames, only to be reborn anew, seemed to
be another good representation of the grief response. This symbol is especially
representative for those who feel so consumed by the deep emotional response
of grief before re-emerging in a sense, reborn by the experience.
This website was established to help those experiencing
a loss, a crisis or a significant life-change through the grieving process.
This process is one that may be filled with despondency and depression.
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. In time, the grieving person emerges from the dark phase,
incorporates the change and metamorphoses into a different person. A basic
message is that the out of loss, change, death and destruction can come
does one become a butterfly?" she asked pensively.
"You must want to fly
so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar."
See the Emergency
911 Page for links to immediate resources
if you are feeling helpless,
hopeless, overwhelmingly depressed, or suicidal.
| A Healing Place
| Loss & Grief
| Emergency Pick-Me-Ups
| Condolence & Sympathy
| Transitional Medicine
| Butterflies & Blazes
About this Site