My 12-year-old black lab and companion, Kelsey, had recently passed. I was trying to distract myself with work in the office. Mattie, my 1-year-old lab, somehow conveyed to me that she was missing Kelsey. I stopped what I was doing and took some time to be with her.

I hugged her in consoling efforts…maybe I was projecting. I don’t know. I tried to convey to Mattie that I missed Kelsey too but, that she was still here in spirit and that she loved us.  I started to cry.

I sat there for a while with her, hugging Mattie, missing my girl, Kelsey.

Then at some point I took a deep breath and I turned back to my work.

There on my pants leg was a ladybug that was not there moments before. I greeted the Ladybug with a ‘Hello’. The ladybug proceeded to crawl on my hand. She crawled and crawled and crawled. I tried to keep it on my hand to take it outside, as I do with most insects.

This was a particularly cute ladybug and I went outside and sat with it for a moment to get some comfort in my sadness. I am always looking to connect with an insect. I was missing Kelsey. I was remembering the black butterfly encounters, happy for them but wishing there had been more.

The ladybug kept crawling and would occasionally fly down to other fingers on my hand and crawl back up them…. crawl back down…fly back…crawl down…. fly back up. She did not fly away. She was very affectionate. She flew on my shirt and crawled up it, then back on my hand.

She was playful in way that I knew intimately. I thought in a brief moment of my sadness, wouldn’t be nice if she sat over my heart. No sooner did the thoughts float out of my head, that the ladybug did just that. She sat there several minutes facing me, sitting still on my chest….just as I had wished.

And then I knew.

I knew like I knew I was breathing.

It was my girl.  It was my Kelsey.

We had a nice visit and I wept. I was painfully thankful.

She said ‘I came like this because you used to call me ‘Ladybug’.

I wept hard, and even harder still, but in a happy, deep, thankful way. A way that stretched my depth of understanding, love and connection.

I love her and her gentle, sweet, tender, playful influence and guidance in my life.

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