I know this post isn't exactly about massage! It is however something I am super passionate about and I would love to share why along with some great alternatives.
What is a Balloon Release? It really sounds like a beautiful ritual. As a way to honor, celebrate, or even send a message to a loved one who has passed away, we write a little something, tie it to our place inside a balloon and then ceremoniously release it into the air and watch it rise up to the heavens. Sometimes we put our address or info in it, so if someone far away finds it we can see how far it travels! I get it! Super cool and pretty special right?
What is the problem?
We are harming our environment. While the sentiment is there, these balloons are not actually headed up to heaven, they are headed into the tummies of our animals friends, and the balloon strings can tangle around necks and beaks. The balloon itself, even if it stays clear from harming an animal becomes nothing but litter. Below are some heart breaking links that show just what can happen.
What can you do instead:
Choose large leaves or petals (Maple leaves, burdock leaves, rose petals) and use a paint pen or charcoal pencil to write a message or your loved ones name. Instead of releasing into the sky visit your favorite river or creek and release them into the flowing stream of water.
Dandelions: we all know how much fun it is to pick dandelions once they are ready to release their seeds and blow our wishes into the wind. Instead of wishes, share a memory or message of your loved one before blowing them into the wind.
Wild Flowers: Share packets of wildflower seeds with your friends and family and share stories, memories, prayers, and messages as you sprinkle them. Your love and message can grow as the flowers grow.
Plant a tree in their memory.
Create a butterfly garden: find the perfect spot and plant butterfly friendly flowers. When the butterflies come to visit you can ask them to send your messages along.
There really are as many alternatives as you can dream of. What are the things that made your loved one smile? With a little love and imagination you can come up with a safe and respectful way to honor your loved ones. Share your ideas!