Setting balloons free for daddy

Balloons ready to go into the sky

Balloons ready to go into the sky

Although I had been dreading the day of my husband’s funeral, by the end of the day I felt we had really made it as good as it possibly could be, a real celebration of Roger’s life, sharing with his family, friends and colleagues just what a brilliant and inspirational man he was. It feels strange writing this, but I actually feel I took a lot of positivity from the day, as I felt the love of everyone all around me and reflected on what we had together and how wonderful that was.

I’ve received several messages from people who said they felt they were part of something special that day, and I have to say I agree with them. I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel exhausted, emotional and deeply sad, but I also saw how funerals can be a true celebration of life, and give strength to those who attend.

I wanted to think of something nice that the children could do to remember their dad and to make some nice memories of the day for when they were older. I loved the idea of setting off balloons; I remember the joy I got from seeing a helium balloon float up into the sky when I was little, watching it until it was just a tiny speck and wondering where it would get to.

There was one each for our children Sam and Florence, and another for their cousin Ava, who at six is the same age as Sam and kind of like his twin. (Ava actually has a twin brother and sister, so when they all get together it’s like two sets of twins!)

They held them up above their heads, before letting them go and watching as they drifted off. Sam’s went straight up and away, but the girls’ got stuck in a tree for a few seconds. My friend Ling mentioned yesterday how funny it was that a small gust of wind came and dislodged them, letting them fly off too, almost like a little nudge of help from Rog.

I really want to start a tradition with the balloons, setting them free each year to mark Roger’s birthday, or special occasions when we will especially miss him like Christmas or the childrens’ birthdays.

Let’s try to make something just a tiny bit happy from our sadness and loss.

x Julia

Setting balloons free at Roger's funeral

Balloon in the sky

Balloon trapped in the tree

Watching the balloons fly into the sky

Setting balloons free for Roger

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  • Reply
    Lins @ Boo & Maddie
    August 16, 2015 at 7:43 am

    What an absolutely beautiful thing to do, not just the balloons but all the celebration of what a wonderful man he clearly was. I can’t even imagine how hard it must have been for you, for everyone, but it sounds like exactly the day he would have wanted. I think using the balloons to remember important days is a lovely idea X
    Lins @ Boo & Maddie recently posted…The Office – A Little Catch UpMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 16, 2015 at 7:48 am

    What a lovely idea for the kids, it spreads a little light on what must have been really difficult for them. Creating a tradition like this is such a nice thing for you all to experience and remember Roger at poignant times and hopefully it’ll be something they can continue for a long time. I’m hugely sorry for you and your family’s loss. Posts like this show your strength and it’s wonderful these children can look up to you and see that x

  • Reply
    Hayley Smith @hayleyfromhome
    August 16, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Such a lovely idea for the children and for you to see. Will be a nice thing to recreate on days when you are all thinking of him that little bit more xxx
    Hayley Smith @hayleyfromhome recently posted…Brothers in August {Siblings}My Profile

  • Reply
    August 16, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Oh Jules what a beautiful post. I am so glad the funeral went as well as it could and you managed to take such positivity from the day. It sounds perfect, the balloons were an amazing idea and I’m sure Roger would be super proud of you all. Well done lovely xxx

  • Reply
    Megan - TMK
    August 16, 2015 at 9:33 am

    This post and the funeral post are just beautiful. I agree, Rog helped the balloons on their way! Still thinking of you and the children. You are wonderful xxx
    Megan – TMK recently posted…Marshmallow FlingingMy Profile

  • Reply
    Sharon powell
    August 16, 2015 at 9:39 am

    This is such a lovely idea. I’m so pleased the day went as well as it could, thinking of you all x
    Sharon powell recently posted…17 weeks bump updateMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mummy Tries
    August 16, 2015 at 10:00 am

    What a brilliant idea, and such a gorgeous post as always lovely. You’re amazing #thatisall xxx
    Mummy Tries recently posted…Some Exciting NewsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Leigh - Headspace Perspective
    August 16, 2015 at 11:35 am

    The balloons are a lovely idea. I’m glad – if that’s the right word – the day was such a wonderful celebration of Roger’s life. While I didn’t have the privilege of meeting him, he sounds like an incredible man and that he received a fitting send off.

    I had similar feelings after Hugo’s funeral – deeply sad and exhausted of course but also positive because it was a day full of love xxx
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  • Reply
    Becky (@EducatingR)
    August 16, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    A lovely idea. My friend is doing the same as she recently lost her dad and her daughter is only 3 and doesn’t fully understand. Beautiful pictures and an even nicer idea to repeat it for birthdays. Glad to hear you took comfort in the day. You are incredibly strong. XXXX
    Becky (@EducatingR) recently posted…Stockeld Park, WetherbyDaysMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mackenzie Glanville
    August 17, 2015 at 5:32 am

    Th image of Sam and Flo looking up is beautiful. I hope you feel my warm hug embracing you now and knowing that popped all over the world are thinking of you xo

  • Reply
    August 18, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Dearest Jules, You are a true inspiration to us all! We are so very, very proud of you, the way you wrote & delivered such a wonderful tribute to Roger at his funeral, ( he would be giving you a great big hug for being so brave) , the way you organised the whole day in spite of being so exhausted and sad, the way you ve got through the last two years of having to come to terms with such a great sadness and the way your total love for Rog and he for you was celebrated in such a beautiful way on that day.
    We loved your idea of the children sending balloons off into the sky for Daddy and Uncle Roger! You re all so brave and we love you all dearly!
    Always here to talk and lend a hand!
    Stay brave and strong!
    Lots and lots of love, Mum & Dad xxxxxxx

  • Reply
    Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely
    August 18, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    What an amazing idea, Julia. I love the vibrant red too. I think it will be such a nice thing to do each year. An almost happy remembrance, if there exists such a thing. Hope you’re getting some rest on your break this week xx
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  • Reply
    Potty Mouthed Mummy
    August 18, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Beautiful pictures and a really lovely idea xx
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  • Reply
    Kat | Beau Twins
    August 22, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Julia, seeing these pics brings a tear of joy and sadness to my eyes. You are an extraordinary person and your family are beautiful. These pictures just sum up what a truly wonderful man Rog is and what an amazing, understanding and loving woman you are. Huge love and hugs huni! xxxx

  • Reply
    Christmas balloons for daddy - Rainbeaubelle
    January 13, 2016 at 7:02 am

    […] wrote at the time – last August – that I hoped we could make it a regular thing, a ceremony for the kids […]

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