I know there are many of you, like me, out there who have suffered the loss of someone you love dearly. Lately, this topic of grief, love, loss, and healing has been weighing on my heart and so I thought I would share something with you about how I remember those I love.
l think it started about a year after my brother died. I was shopping at a grocery store and the cashier asked me if I wanted to donate $1 to the Children’s Miracle Network. Before I could tell her no, I never use to donate to these causes, she said, “You can write your name or someone’s else’s name on the balloon.” That was the beginning of a new tradition for me.
I grabbed the yellow and orange stripped hot air balloon and wrote down the name Grant Marcus. It was amazing the feeling I had, knowing my brother’s name would be on the wall at that grocery store for all to see. It didn’t matter much to anyone else, but it meant the world to me.
And so began my little way of remembering.
Through the years, as friends and family have lost children, spouses, fathers and mothers, etc. there have been so many times that I have felt useless. I know pain is individual and healing hurts. So I have quietly said prayers to the Creator on their behalf and written the names of their loved ones on whatever balloon, four-leaf clover, fundraiser thingy that the nearest grocery store had available. Somehow, I believe, writing their names to be hung on display matters.
Here are just a few of the many names that come to my mind and heart at this time. Each of them has a story, a family who loves them dearly, and a message of heartache and healing. Each of their names has been written down & displayed to be remembered: Grant Marcus Shields (my brother), Holland Kay Cottle, Lucia Isabella Jackson, Grace & Sarah Clare, Paxton Edward Norton, Lisa Kay Wright Shields (my aunt), Ivory Dame, Owen Cherrington (my uncle), Rob Verhaaren, Adam Karl Hansen, Ember Lee Belcher…
I wonder, how do you remember?