Recent events meant that we had to come to terms with the fact we would not be allowed to spread my Dad’s ashes in a peaceful and respectful manner.
My Mum has been saying for a long time that we should do our own little memorial but I think we all (myself, my brother, my aunties) had to come to the conclusion ourselves.
This week my Aunty called and said she had a suggestion: have our own memorial. She had talked to my other Auntie. I called my brother and we all agreed.
Yesterday we met in Halkyn, a small village in North Wales. This was the area my Dad used to work when he was younger as a British Telecom (GPO) Telephone Engineer. He loved the area. The mountains over looking Flint, where he was born and even further afield. The weather was fabulous. So good that we could even see the Radio City Tower in Liverpool, the city that my Dad supported in the football.
We went up to the Top of the hill, we didn’t run like Kate Bush did, but the scenery reminded me of the Cloudbusting video.
We spent a few moments looking around before gathering together. I read out a few words about my Dad. What he had taught me in life and how I have been influenced by him, even though I didn’t think so.
My aunty, his youngest sister then read out a little poem she had written about my Dad, it was serious and fun and made us laugh. She then set off a single red balloon as initially she was supposed to spread my Dad’s ashes.
As part of everyone letting go, my other Auntie, my Dads eldest sister, let of a red heart shaped balloon before we all let go off our own balloon and then a series of red and white balloons that were carried off by the wind over the county of Clwyd towards Liverpool. It was a moving sight but no-one really cried. This is what we needed. To let go physically and symbolically.
My balloon didn’t go very far, the letter attached to it pulled it down, instead it made my letter dig deep into the bushes to remain forever on that hill.
To finish off, we all gathered around and held hands thinking of Dad.
As we were leaving a lady with a young puppy arrived. The puppy was full of energy and she brightened up the whole atmosphere. Symbolically you could even say she was the new beginning. Life goes on.
We went back to the pub and had a drink. We talked about Dad a little bit, then the conversation moved to other topics. We chatted. We laughed before getting very hungry. We made a way to get a bite to eat where again we chatted, laughed, talked serious matters, and had a moan about life.
This is what my Dad would have wanted. The family together. That was the most important thing to him.
We took back what had been taken away from us and had just the most perfect day we could have wished for. I certainly left at the end of the day to drive back to Manchester feeling happy and fulfilled.
Yesterday we organised a memorial for my Dad who died in March.