Can Stinkbugs be Signs?

Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photoshops a dead stinkbug, her house is inundated with stinkbugs, dead and alive.Can stinkbugs be signs from The Other Side? The psychic medium told me to watch for hearts. Hearts would be signs from my daughter who died. But I’ve had no sightings of hearts since the conversation with the medium. And I’ve looked.

In fact, I went looking for some sign of hearts in Marika’s old bedroom. The only ones I found were on an ancient mug of mine that was holding up Marika’s prom bouquet of silk roses. I lightly stroked the fake flowers, and a dried-up stinkbug fell on my hand. Shortly after, I found another dead stinkbug lying belly up in the dog’s bed (Marika’s beloved dog that I inherited). And just a few nights ago, I was reading on the couch when one landed in my hair. I was so shaken and disgusted, I quickly captured it in a glass, ran outdoors, and shook it out into the snow. Finding them dead is a lot easier on my karma. The DustBuster is full of dead stinkbugs.

With temperatures hovering around zero, the house has been inundated with them. Yes, they’re just trying to escape the cold, but it wouldn’t be so unimaginable to think of these icky things as gifts from Marika. Who on several occasions told me she hoped I’d fall off a mountain. Told me to go f— myself. She was never going to send me roses.

Maybe I should look up and say, Thank you Marika, every time I encounter one of these hideously ugly bugs. It might make me feel more hospitable to them. Always opposing my sentiments on everything, Marika would probably insist, Mom, I think they’re cute.

In the two months since I spoke with the medium, I’ve spotted rainbows, feathers, ladybugs, cardinals, and dropped coins. Things others count as signs from their deceased loved ones. Things Marika might just as easily have considered sending me. None of these ever smacked of Marika though. Not like this spate of stinkbugs. Dead and alive. Lots. Still, no hearts.

Valentines Day is coming up. The holiday that makes me want to hide under the bed. Marika loved that day. The time when sweethearts send flowers and chocolates, and friends show off the new jewels they received from their husbands. In the stores, red hearts are pasted all over everything. But that doesn’t count as a sign.


What signs have you received from deceased loved ones? What signs would you like to receive? If you could, what would you send to someone you loved who died?

Share Button

10 thoughts on “Can Stinkbugs be Signs?

  1. Elaine Mansfield

    I believe we get to see or feel those signs everywhere in the strangest ways. Sometimes walking in the forest, I hear myself saying, “I love you, Vic.” Just saying it and feeling the truth of it. The trees remind me of him and the sunsets and the tractor. Not the stink bugs so much, but there are those hearts, so why not? I usually offer stinkbugs crawling up the walls or across the rug to the wood stove. May as well get a little heat from them. Like fruit flies in the summer, there are always more.

    I found a new packet of letters from Vic last week when going through old files looking for papers needed to fill out forms for his mom. I only read one which I’m writing about this week. One was overwhelming at a time I needed to keep my cool. There are 19 more. You have Marika’s journals–her everlasting words and thoughts and poems. I hope you re-read those when you want to hear from her. I wonder: did she ever “dot” the i in her name with a heart?

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Hi Elaine. I think I know how you feel, discovering a new bunch of letters from Vic. For a long time I was coming across all sorts of leftover surprises from Marika. But it looks like we’ve run out of surprises. It’s been a long time since I found a poem or drawing or earring hiding out in the corners of the house. I reread her words but really crave more of her. More photos. More songs. Sometimes I play her CD just to hear her voice again.
      You have your forest where you can find Vic. I have my driveway. And the stars.
      Marika signed everything, “Always, Marika.” And she actually did draw in a heart, centered in the middle of the Always.

  2. Monica

    Lynne is correct. The bug has a heart on its back. Amazing! So Marika’s message is clear despite the less than gracious delivery.

    Dragonflies are the symbol for me and several in my family when Lena comes to visit or send a message. It’s happened often enough we no longer question the possibility. A lot easier to love than a stink bug!

    I hope your Valentines Day isn’t too brutal this year, Robin.

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Oh, dragonflies! What a beautiful gift. I could really appreciate a dragonfly or two. But probably not gonna happen in winter. Yes, Valentines Day is coming up fast now. I wish you a beautiful one. For me, I’ll make some chocolate pot de creme and hope for an end to the stinkbug situation. Still no hearts anywhere in sight.

  3. Lynne Taetzsch

    Robin, there is a heart on the back of the stink bug in your photo. It’s the first thing I noticed when I saw it. So maybe these are from Marika!

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      yeah, that heart was pretty surprising. still don’t know what to make of it. meanwhile, more bugs have been showing up. dead, thankfully. no more hearts on them.

  4. Lucy Bergstrom

    Hey Robin,
    Yeah, why not? It sounds like stinkbugs would suit Marika just fine as a shout-out – HEY MOM! WAKE UP!. She’s probably still chuckling over your reaction to the one that landed in your hair!
    By the way, do they stink?
    See you soon!

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Well, Lucy, they do stink. Really yucky smell that I can’t describe or really remember. But this particular bug, it turns out, is a kissing bug and not a stinkbug. This one supposedly can spread an awful disease called Chagas disease. I did get stink bugs too. Somehow, I can’t imagine Marika sending me a really dangerous bug. But the heart – well, that’s pretty special. Still trying to work this thing out.

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      There were several bugs that I photographed that may or may not be gifts from my daughter. But I chose this particular one to feature because of the heart. It was the heart that made me consider that maybe –


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *