How to help someone out of their cocoon

Day 163 of coronavirus in France

Day 28 of de-confinement after 55 days of enforced confinement

On the chilly afternoon of June 4th during family nap time, I awoke to the flutter of wings. There was a butterfly in my house. Fortunately, he chose a family that used to raise butterflies and we had all the necessary supplies to weather the incoming storms.

We sliced him and orange and let him fly around the room supervised most days. We refurnished our butterfly habitat with fresh water, an orange slice and a hydrangea flower for the nights.

A butterfly flew into our house seeking warmth on a chilly day. We kept him for three days and released him back into the garden when the storms were over. Saying goodbye was hard.

June 7th came too early for my daughter. She had the honor of carrying the butterfly perched on her finger into the garden where he flew away. And she wept. She wasn’t ready.

Today there are still outbreak clusters in the greater Paris area. So, no, it’s not over. Church is allowed to meet in groups of ten. That’s the only thing I go out for. Monday and Tuesday, I drop my daughter off at school, but I come straight back home. I have friends I haven’t see in three months and they’re not ready to come out of the cocoon any time soon.

We’ve all been cocooning in our own way. There’s a well-known fact about butterflies, that if you try to help them out of their cocoon they will die. The struggle to break out is the same physical process that inflates their wings. So, let your friends take their time.

The best way to help them out of their cocoon is not to prompt them out at all. If you talk to them about their fears, just listen, don’t rebuttal. Just love them.

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