Story from Santiago Burdon

Balloonitarians

      (With Backstory)

Balloonitarian Groups believe when death comes to visit a loved one, the string attached to the balloon of life also containing the soul is released, then slowly there's an ascent delivering them higher into the forever sky, drifting wherever the gentle breeze carries souls,  all  sins are forgiven as they diffuse from the balloon along with the noble gas escaping into the boundless atmosphere, leisurely, lazily moving downward, finally coming to rest somewhere on the surface of the Mystic Ocean, bobbing back and forth to the gentle rhythm of waves, where soon a seal or possibly a sea tortoise, will swallow the polymer remains of the balloon whole, causing it to choke to death.

 

                ***

Backstory to this poem.


I was attending a Grief Support group dealing with my severe grief over my daughter McKenzie's death in a car accident caused by a careless driver. The Therapist group leader announced that next Saturday we will be attending a multi-group event to release balloons into the sky in memory of our loved ones that had passed.

I told the group leader I wouldn't be attending the event. She attempted to change my mind telling me it was time to face my grief and this event is designed to release that grief. I explained my reason by telling her this story;


Years ago when my daughter McKenzie was at the age of just nine. We were enjoying a carnival in Tucson with the entire family. McKenzie began crying for no apparent reason. When I asked why she was shedding all those tears.

She pointed to the sky where I noticed a red helium balloon sailing into the blue Arizona sky. 

In a sincere voice she said: 


"Look at the balloon flying away.

Now a Seal or Sea Tortoise is going to die."


I explained my reason to not attend the event by telling the Group Leader the story. I'm not sure she understood.  I never returned to the group.

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