This morning, Gary and I took some time to pick balloons for release today. After a night with very little sleep, my eyes were quite bloodshot and my face pale, so I made for a lovely sight in the shop, but the balloons were important to me.
I wanted three balloons – one from each of us (Daniel, Gary and myself) – but I also wanted balloons that signified something special in other ways too. To me, we were sending a message to Barry. We chose a red balloon with the words “I love you” printed all over it. Then we chose a white balloon covered with flowers, which to us represented a bunch of flowers. And finally, we chose a yellow heart – yellow being Barry’s favourite colour and the heart for obvious reasons.
Below are two photos. The one to the left shows the three balloons with Barry’s ashes (which, for the moment, are still on Barry’s bed). The one to the right is me (I was already crying, so the photo isn’t a good one of me) just moments before I released them with a whispered message of my own. Gary took a video of the balloons leaving my hand and going straight upwards. Then we stood and watched as they drifted away, up to the heavens.
We have had gorgeous weather for weeks, but today (ironically, since midnight) it was raining – sometimes quite heavily. When we released the balloons we stood in that rain and I felt as if the heavens were crying with me. Releasing balloons is such a simple, inexpensive, thing to do, but there are so many emotions tied into that action. The message we send feels – IS – important. We turn our faces upwards and we open ourselves to unknown possibilities.
Last night, I tried to say a prayer for Barry and got extremely upset because I couldn’t remember all the words. Then today, when I released the balloons, I said the words in my mind again. Although I still couldn’t remember all of the words, the sentiment and feeling were there.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done,
on Earth, as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Admittedly, Gary and I felt drained after the balloon release. We cried for a while – together and then on our own. The rain washed away our tears and then stopped. Not able to stay in the house any longer, we drove to the local nursery and shopped for a potted plant. It had to be something that would be everlasting, with yellow flowers. Because whenever I see yellow flowers, I think of Barry.
Surprisingly, the sun came out and warmed our faces and bodies. It was wonderful. It helped cheer me up quite a bit. The photo to the right shows the two pots of flowers we came home with. The pots have been placed near the front door, so now every time we step outside, Barry will be right there beside us.
This evening has been quiet. Daniel has his girlfriend to keep him company and to keep his mind away from other images that might force their way into his mind. Gary and I have cried so much, there surely isn’t anything left to shed. With luck, tonight will be better than last night, but we won’t know for sure until we switch the light out and climb into bed.