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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Butterfly Awakens: A Memoir of Transformation Through Grief by Meg Nocero takes you on a transformational journey as she shares her experience of dealing with the tragic loss of her mother, a toxic work environment, and bouts with her own health that involve stress, anxiety, and a somatic nervous disorder. Not another memoir about rising up to life’s challenges, you say? Not another, but an extraordinary one. Nocero takes you beyond grief and makes you understand the work she went through in dealing with the pain of losing a mother and navigating a toxic work environment. This is a story not only of loss but of her journey toward healing as she searches for a lighthouse that manifests in her dreams and ultimately leads to her healing and closure. Like a butterfly that emerges from its chrysalis, you witness Nocero transform into a better version of herself.
In her prologue, Nocero asks you to call her 'butterfly' to represent the symbolism aligning her soul, and I’d be happy to call her that. Her memoir is rich in symbolic meaning and it reminds me of that Trina Paulus storybook, Hope for the Flowers. Nocero achieves individuation through self-searching and abandons the old attitudes that stopped her from spreading her wings. As a memoir, Butterfly Awakens demonstrates how we become vulnerable in our connections to those in our lives who passed away and also makes us vulnerable to the loss of stability as it disrupts our patterns. Nocero writes with raw emotion. Her capacity to cope and creative ability to seek change (including writing this book) is so inspiring that it takes solid footing in the notion that our lives must not stop just because we lost someone dearly beloved. You need to move on, but you should always take the memory of those who touched your life with you. Read it and see if it’s just another one of those memoirs. I dare you.