Glowing Butterfly
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~ Butterflies & Blazes ~
Orange Butterfly

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 Medicine."

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 the website.

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 new life.

"How does one become a butterfly?" she asked pensively.Orange Butterfly
"You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar."
Trina Paulus

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

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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.
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Orange Butterfly

Last update March 1, 2002