Why dragonflies?

My blog is called Chasing Dragonflies. So, what is it with all the dragonflies anyway?

While we were researching readings for Abi’s funeral, we came across the story ‘Water Bugs and Dragonflies’ (I’ve posted the full story here). As the story explained, we can never see what waits for us outside this world until we get there, but it is more beautiful than we can ever imagine. We are content, perfect and free…

We felt so much warmth from this story at our darkest hour, and knew it was perfect for her funeral as it could be easily understood by both young and old. I seemed to be drawn to the image of the beautiful dragonfly and could relate to the suggestion that Abi had risen in glory and was now in paradise. It brought me and others much comfort and, through the piercing grief, I always remember this and that one day, I too, will be able to be with her.

I’m not a huge lover of insects, but dragonflies are amazing. They are beautiful whenever they are seen but they are immensely difficult to photograph or approach before they fly away, so a clear sighting is a very special thing. Ever since we heard that story, the dragonfly has symbolised hope, Heaven and peace to us, and we seem to have instinctively used the image in relation to Abi. It feels unique, like her.

The most significant use of the dragonfly for me was the tattoo I had inked onto my shoulder. It was my first tattoo. A dragonfly was an easy choice and I chose blue as this was Abi’s favourite colour (the colour ‘Abi blue’ has also been a common theme). I wanted it to look realistic but not dark or so real people will keep slapping my back! As soon as I saw the design, I loved it…

A tattoo is a common way to remember a lost loved one, and now I can see why. It’s also very personal. I’m old enough now not to really care what people think of my body (child-bearing has done its worst anyway) and as it’s on my shoulder, it’s often covered in any case – this isn’t for show, it’s for me. I have no issue with growing old with a tattoo either as that will be the last thing I’ll have to worry about; it will be a constant reminder of 2013 and the hope I managed to claw from something so tragic.

Blue dragonfly tattoo

We also used a dragonfly on Abi’s memorial stone – again in blue with silver glitter on the wings. This was another unique design and something the stonemason had never done before, but we felt it came out very well.

Dragonfly memorial

Abi also has two memorial benches: one at her primary school; one at her secondary school. They are both identical and, of course, with pretty blue dragonflies…

Memorial bench

Friends and family also relate dragonflies to us and our loss, and we’ve received many special gifts and cards featuring dragonflies, in jewellery or candle holders:

Dragonfly jewellery

Dragonfly tealight holder

We seem to see them everywhere now, it’s just trying to capture them on camera that is the tricky part!

1073740_10151537618105966_822664415_o        Dragonflies


I am just about to publish my own version of the dragonfly fable, called The Dragonfly Story. This is self-published and is available to purchase through this blog. Please click here to read more about it.

9 thoughts on “Why dragonflies?

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. I have used dragonflies to cope with my son’s death. When he was little, on the family farm they were everywhere around the pond. He was at first scared of them and then came to love them. As he grew older, I have seen less of them or either not paid attention. Now I see them everywhere. I will pray for you and your family.

    • A Dragonfly tale was read at my son’s funeral by his favourite 6th form tutor .. in turn it became the logo for Elliott’s Trust which I set up in his memory .. to help and support other children and young adults suffering from the rare and incurable cancer Rhabdomyosarcoma which took Elliott in just 11 months after immeasurable suffering .. like you since then I see them everywhere… gifts are sent .. my home is full of them in every form .. they are a symbol of eternal life and I know that one day I will hold him in my arms again .. Elliott my beautiful angel .. forever19 😇😇💙💔😭🎗🎗😍 >J<

  2. Oh, I love dragonflies now on account if the same story. Our baby passed away in July in the Children’s Hospice in Belfast and that is where I read the story. I now have a scarf with dragonflies with it. Love the jewelery, would you be able to tell me where you got it from? Big hugs to you and hope your heart is on the mend.xx

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your baby. Dragonflies are very special and it’s lovely to hear from another mother who loves them as much as me. I can’t tell you where the jewellery is from as it was a gift. I think it was a boutique. Your loss is so very recent I do hope you are being supported. I hope my blog helps in some way too. Mutual hugs to you xx

  3. Pingback: What happens when we die? Explaining death to your child | Chasing dragonflies

  4. I am truly sorry for your losses. I have also experienced loss. In 2010, my full term infant son passed away at 12 days old due to injuries he sustained during delivery. My husband and I use dragonflies as a representation of him. They bring joy to our hearts when we see them. We both have dragonfly tattoos and we named our non-profit organization after him and his brother that we have a year after our loss. Our son’s name was Drake and it means “Dragon” – that is how we came up with Dragonfly.
    Thank you for sharing your grief, I am a new blogger and I hope to share my grief along with other things in my life with being a mother to 2 Rainbow Boys.

  5. A goose. Because the morning I got the news a lone goose perched on my very pitched barn roof and just watched as people came and went. I was asked about it since some visitors noted that “geese don’t perch” and that they are not usually “alone”. And then recently when I found his illustrated birth certificate Mother Goose was on the bottom with an entire gaggle of geese around her. So that is why I chose (or Garrett chose) the goose.
    Hugs to all of us. Grief is very tricky and way too humbling.

  6. I had a dear friend share this with me, as our family has been inundated with dragonfly sightings, visits, and stories since the unexpected passing of my 22-year-old son, Tanner, on June 22, 2017. We too now cherish the dragonfly and all that it symbolizes. I send hugs & prayers to you in honor of your precious Abi! 💙

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