As part of their grief counseling, the kids have been keeping journals. They occasionally write their feelings and thoughts, draw pictures or write letters directly to Grandma. Reading Bubba's journal tears my heart out of my chest in a slow ripping motion. The last entry I saw was a drawing of everyone gathered at the cemetery with the caption "I wish she didn't die" written above it. It almost killed me to read it.
Since the counseling is focusing on an outlet for their emotions, I decided that for her birthday, we would all write letters on helium filled latex balloons and let them float up to heaven for her to read.
I have this vision in my head of her sitting in the clouds (like a Care Bear, as my daughter pointed out) just looking down on the world below. She is on a porch swing with Grandma F. on one side and Aunt JoAnn on the other and the three of them are smiling and catching up with each other on all of the things that were missed. They are gossiping about us that are still on this Earth with a tear in their eye and a smile on their face. They are watching over us.
My vision continues with mom reaching out to grab the balloons, one-by-one, as they float by. She reads them carefully, cries at the pain they represent and then smiles because she knows we will be okay. We will rise above the pain and sorrow and will go on to live the lives she wanted for us.
I think she lives in the clouds.
Teensy thinks she lives in the clouds, too, because she is a dreamer like me.
Bubba thinks she lives in outer space. He's not as much of a dreamer. More logical than the rest of us.
I've never asked Dear Hubby where he thinks she is. Seems to me that he doesn't think like the rest of us. Heaven is not really a place to him, more of a state of mind, I suppose. I will have to ask him.
Each of us got something different out of it. Each of us went about it in a different way. The kids wrote their messages on their balloons in more of a art activity way. Teensy's was covered in pictures and hearts and questions. Bubba's was done quickly and messily and contained very little. Hubby wasn't sure how to go about it but got in the groove after a few minutes and let out some of the emotions he's been holding in. Me. Well, I am a wordy individual. I used every inch of my balloon to tell her things that I miss, things that I never said to her and things that we are doing right now that I want her to know. Things that I needed to voice and haven't been able to for various reasons.
All in all, it was a great idea. And I hope they reached her in Heaven.