Significant Moments

Dragonfly Park Dartmouth Nova Scotia

Dragonfly Park is dedicated to parents who lost a child. It is a place of beauty, serenity and meaning. All the elements are there: trees, flowers, water and design. I felt comforted just standing by the dragonfly sculpture, looking beyond the trees to the pond, and listening to the water. Like many other parents, and some of you, I too lost a child, 30 days after birth. Michael didn’t come home with us.

I appreciated the tenderness that I felt in this special place and great compassion for all those who had a child die. It seems so out of order.

Here is a photo of the Dragonfly story –  a simple little fable attempting to bring comfort, especially to children.

I was also attracted to this park because of the connection in my family to the dragonfly and my Mother’s death. So many of us across the country saw dragonflies or had one land on our arm when she died. I have met many people over my lifetime who had a similar experience – a sense that a particular bird or animal is associated with their loved one. It doesn’t matter if it is true or not. It is what it is, and it brings meaning and comfort. My physician friend simply calls it “significant.”

A Personal Story

The day before we left for our trip to the Maritimes, I picked my grandson up at the rowing club as usual. He hopped in the car and said.

“Nana, I have something to tell you. Great Grandma rode with me in my boat this morning. You know how I love rowing, and I especially like to be in a single.  Even though it is harder, I prefer it and have no problems. But this morning as we were heading into the dock I was overcome with tiredness and I was worried that I would take a long time. At that moment a dragonfly landed on my boat and stayed there with me until I landed and then flew away. And I had no problem at all. It felt like great grandma was with me.”

This is a very personal story told with permission. At dinner tonight, my granddaughter asked what I would write about and I said the Dragonfly Park in Dartmouth. And Rowan looked up and said if you want to tell your readers about my dragonfly story, you can, Nana. And so I did.


Because I think we need little stories, now and then, that offer moments of reassurance, comfort, meaning and significance. “Dragonflies themselves are older than dinosaurs, dating back more than 300 million years. They are found on every continent except Antarctica and …fascinate people for scientific study, as inspiration for art and simply as a wonder of nature. ” Saltscapes article by Melanie Mosher

In my family, dragonflies remind us of our mother/grandmother/and great-grandmother. What a sweet way to be remembered. I find many tiny things in life are part of the great mystery, and I am grateful.

Perhaps some of you have a similar story. I don’t dismiss our small “significant” stories. Instead, I choose to cherish those moments, for the significance they bring to me, and perhaps to you.


1:) The photos are from Dragonfly Park. However, here is a rainbow (shortly turned into a double rainbow) from Hampton, NB. It was an odd occurrence, as it was raining hard but gentle in one half of the yard only.

2:) I love this poem that Janice Falls posted on her site today, At Least by Raymond Carver.

3:) We were often 23 plus people for dinner – imagine all those wonderful cousins; first cousins; first cousins once removed; second cousins, and more. (2-99) Especially my 99-year-old aunt still making mischief.

4:) I think we are wise to take nothing for granted. Treasure our everyday moments and the people in our lives. 

5:) I read this interesting article in the New York Times a few weeks ago about a woman who purchased a tiny cabin on a tiny Island in Maine. It is so unusual and charming, although it isn’t for me, but it may give you a break from all the difficult news. Read here.

6:) Thank you for showing up here. I am honoured and grateful. Kindly, Trudy



8 replies
  1. Cathy M
    Cathy M says:

    Thank you for another beautiful message Trudy – they always seem to arrive at just the right time.

    I am saddened to learn about the loss of your son. I can’t imagine what a painful experience that must be, and send you love.

    Our family also has little stories that keep us connected to our special people who have died. This afternoon we received news that a cousin of mine, who has been in ICU for a week, will soon be taken off life support, and also my husband’s nephew died today in a workplace accident. Many broken hearts right now. My hope and prayer is that, in time, there will be more little stories to offer moments of reassurance, comfort, meaning and significance.

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Dear Cathy: Thank you for your kind note and encouraging words. I am so sorry to hear about the recent losses in your family. It is unstoppable, isn’t it. The little stories do seem to help. I am always grateful for the little reassurances and meaning I can draw from them. I see you do too. Sending love your way. Trudy

  2. Flora Malig
    Flora Malig says:

    Thanks, Trudy for a beautiful story regarding dragonflies. In my family, we associate with butterflies. When my paternal grandmother was dying, I witnessed huge (6 – 8 inches) brown butterflies that flew inside our house using open windows. That was the first time I saw those humungous sizes butterflies. As soon as she passed, the huge butterflies changed color to black. My mom mentioned when she comes home every night from our store in the market, a butterfly always welcomes her back. She felt it was the spirit of my grandmother making sure that she got home safely.

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Oh Flora: What a meaningful story. And what a blessing for your mother. I see these things as completely personal and meaningful. Others may see it differently. Thank you so very much for sending this note. Gentle hugs, Trudy

  3. Carol+Ingells
    Carol+Ingells says:

    Trudy, thank you for this beautiful piece. So much to think about. I am so sorry you lost a child. One never forgets. Dragon flies were very important to Norris. Thus we also remember him through that beautiful symbol. Thanks again for your willingness to share yourself with us.

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Dear Carol: Thank you! Do you think I may have seen a photo of a beautiful dragonfly that Norris took? It lingers in my memory. Fuzzy but possible?? I appreciate your kind note. Warmly, Trudy

  4. Janice+Falls
    Janice+Falls says:

    As always Trudy, a beautiful story about a special place, a significant moment. I’m sure Michael would have approved. I love imagining you with your 23 family members, so much love, so many significant moments. love Janice

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Janice. Dear poet friend: Many thanks for your kind words. You do spread continual good cheer, comfort and wisdom. Hope to see you soon. Trudy


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