I received this very touching letter from Richard Grund reflecting back on the events of one year ago. With his permission I reprint it in its entirety. Richard please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you on this sad day – Simon and Jan Barrett


Butterflies in Heaven

A Year Ago Today


December 11, 2009


By Richard J Grund

When President Roosevelt called December 7, 1941 a “date which will live in infamy” I had little personal experience with the reality of that statement.  He meant that the day would always have a bad name and be notorious in history.  And, he was correct.  It was and is.

December 11, 2008 (a Thursday) will hold that status in our lives.  It’s the day our worst fears were confirmed and the nightmare was no longer just a dream.  It was the day Caylee Marie Anthony was found.  Well, that’s actually not true.  Caylee was in Heaven.  It was the day the remains of her mortal body were found.  It was the day we knew that we would have to wait until Heaven to see her again.  Without the assurance of Heaven and her being there it would have been the day that all hope was lost.

Don’t get me wrong, we wanted it to be different.  There was hope the facts were wrong.  There was faith and love to help block out the reality being presented to us.  The hope of her being somewhere safe and hidden was lost that day.  The hope of seeing her in this earthly realm was lost that day.  And, the hope of a future for this bright shining star was lost that day.  The truth is, no one who has been to Heaven ever wanted to come back and I do not believe she would have been any different.  The ever present music for her to bop and dance to would have held her there.   The bright green fields, flowers, perfect butterflies and the ever present feeling of safety and love would make her forget all about here.  I cannot blame her.  Psalm 16:11 tell us, In Your presence is fullness of joy;  At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Once she grabbed His nail pierced hand when He greeted her we were a distant memory.  Would you want to leave that?  I wouldn’t.

Over this past year I’ve had past dreams, words and experiences brought to my remembrance.  I will not list or detail them except to say that God was not caught off guard by this.  He knew what would happen before she was born.  He knew THIS would happen.  And, in His infinite love and mercy for us, He gave her to us anyway.  God is never surprised by what happens.  He knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).   He knew who, what, when and where.  He taught us that for everything there is a season (Ecclesiastes 3) and her season was a short one.  She was meant to teach us many lessons and, for whatever reason, her time here was short.

In many ways, she was too good for this world.  Most innocents like her are.  Before this world could taint her, ruin her and mold her into its image she was sent home.  Selfishly, I wish it were not so.  I wish we could all have her for a little while longer but He knows better than I what is right and to Him, this was allowed.  I know there are many people that will not understand that or His ways.  But, I can pray you come to that understanding.

Isaiah 55:8 (NKJV) 8 “ For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.

Does that mean we don’t wail and plead with Him to change the way things are?  No, our frail humanity does that.  Yet, in all things we have to trust that this Father does know best.

Although it may have actually happened 6-months earlier, on December 11, 2008 it was confirmed to us that we ran out of time with one of His butterflies.  Her wings would flutter to the breeze of this world no longer.  Her time was short but it was ever so colorful and memorable.

With all due respect to Eric Clapton, I know that there are no tears in Heaven.  There is only love, peace, joy and Caylee’s laughter.

And, I know there are butterflies in Heaven that live forever!

We will always love you Caylee.

We will always miss you.

We will see you again.


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