I started a tradition for my son when he was very young. You see, when a loved one passes away, you need a way to help ease the pain. He was very young when his great Grandmother passed away. She was his first death that he had ever known. They were very close he felt and he did not understand the concept of death. The questions were many from such a young mind. Yet, I thought that he did not understand any of it even after our heart to heart talk alone, sitting on the porch in the evening, after the funeral.
He went back to being just a little boy interested in playing with his toys that night. Later that night, after he had gone to bed, my son woke up and came into my bedroom. He was crying as the realization of his Great Grandmothers passing came to light. He said " I'm never going to see Mimi again. I didn't get to tell her goodbye and that I love her." Tears were streaming down his little face as I hugged him trying to fight back my own tears. He wished so hard that he could get a message to her, so he could tell her he would miss her, and that he loved her so.
I wanted so much to be able to help him get his message through to her. Then it hit me from out of nowhere. I said that we would send up a balloon to the heavens, like the releasing of a Dove. It would go straight up to her and she could read his message.
The next day I went out and bought him a balloon filled with helium. I printed his message out to her and he wrote his first name on it.
together, He, my wife and I all went outside and I handed him the balloon. My son walked over to the edge of the yard and spoke to the balloon as if it would carry each word with it up into the heavens. He held it up, reluctant for a moment to let it go, then he released it. It went up and up twirling a bit as the breeze caught it and carried it away.
As it got higher and higher, he hollered at it "Look at it go Dad. Look at it go. It's getting so high. Do you think Mimi will know it's from me? I can still see it. See..... It's way way up in the air. Look, Look at it go."
"Yes, I see it son. It sure is way up there now. Won't be long before Mimi sees it. She'll know it's from you."
We all stood there and watched it until it went clean out of sight. My wife and I held hands like we used to do back then and I could feel the love around us. It didn't just help my son with her passing. It helped me too.
Today, we still release a balloon when a loved one passes away. Whether it is a human, a beloved pet or a friend, we send a balloon to the heavens to deliver our message of love through the clouds. One of our dogs passed away after many loving years of loyal service and friendship several month's ago. My son made a cross for her and put it on her grave in the yard at Christmas. It's time we send a balloon to her to let her know we still love and miss her much.
I'm looking for others who may wish to send a balloon to a loved one who has passed away. Write out your message and insert it into a white balloon. Send me an email at email@example.com if you would like to participate in the release of the balloons on Christmas day this year. Send the balloon to me and it will be filled with helium and sent to the clouds with the others.
(The Doves carry the spirit to the heavens. They take away the earthly pain.)
My song lyrics below:
Then You Know
Have you ever seen a white Dove in flight
Ever hear the whippoorwills sing
Ever danced the night away, under the full moons light
Then you know, that everything's going to be alright
Have you ever skinny dipped, by the rivers edge
Ever felt the spark and tingle of anothers kiss
Listened to the crickets, as they sound out their love song
Then you feel that you are right ...where you belong
Some will come and others ...they will go
Like the winter when it brings its cold cold snow
But the snow and ice they will melt away
Then the sun will light the way,
And warm the hearts of loved ones another day