MORE ANNIVERSARY AND BIRTHDAY SUGGESTIONS

This is Julane speaking (writing) and I wanted to add what I did this year in addition to the water and the roses. August 31 is the day Darren left us. My new friend Sara lost her son Mark Duncan (visit his page from Darren's Friends In Heaven Album below) also on 8/31 and also at age 22. We have talked so much about our sons, both by email and on the phone. For the anniversary we each wrote a letter to the other's son and sent them up to heaven with balloons. Then we emailed each other a copy of it.

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Since it is at the end of the month, usually the whole month is kind of off kilter, especially the week before. This year I got myself so busy doing a new web page tribute for Our Three Angels. It not only passed the time but I felt I was really doing something for them and for the parents. You can visit it by clicking this Three Angels The background photo was taken when we parents met in Tucson after almost 5 years and drove out to the accident site together. PLEASE KEEP SENDING IN YOUR IDEAS, TOO. Thanks for being here.



On my sons birthday we will watch his movies and cook up his favorite foods, if it works we take the day off work and school. My two girls do not like to go to the cemetary very much but I will make a snow angel next to him(His birthday is December so I can do it on his birthday or do it as soon as we get snow), I do not have to worry about doing this on someone elses grave because the 2 plots on each side of my son are reserved 2 for me and 2 for my exhusband. On the anniversary of the accident I take the day off work and let my emotions go, my daugher that is still in high school will take the next day so she can deal with it in her own way(neither one of us like to cry in front of other people).



I lost my best friend and her birthday was very hard for me. But what I did was took some wire and made letters that spelled her name. I had a hot glue gun and I put FAKE flowers on the wire so the letters were in flowers. I put her (flowered) name on the grave. I wish I had a picture of it.. but here are the simple steps to do it and the tools you will need:
Wire
Small fake flowers (off the stem)
Hot glue gun
Wire cutters
Cut some wire of your strip or line of wire and shape the wire into a letter. Then you need to put the fake flowers on the wire until it covers up the wire (do not smoosh them all together) Position the flowers where you want them and hot glue them on the wire. Now just repeat the steps again to do the other letters.
Now you're ready for their birthday! :) Jessica



Hi Julane, On the anniversary of DeDe's death I have an "In Loving Memory". open house. I invite friends and family. I serve all of his favorite foods, a sharing table and a balloon release. Last year (Oct 21, 1998) about 55 people came to celebrate his life and share memories. Katie Johnson



FROM BARBARA ANDRE: I checked out your web site. We too, lost a son, 5yrs ago. He was 19. On the 1st anniversary of his death we established "The Jody Andre Memorial Fund", by hooking up with ADAC. We contributed in his name to the Alcohol and Drug Abuse council for South Louisiana. Next year my husband ran 10 miles, getting pledges for so much a mile from friends and family donated to ADAC. The next year they sponsored the Jody Andre memorial race/ walk. All proceeds go to ADAC. It is a United Way agency that educates kids on prevention of alcohol and drugs.

Our son was an abuser and his killer was an 18 yr old who had a psychotic episode while drinking. This year is the 3rd annual Race /Walk. It grows every year. We have it on the Saturday closest to his birthday. We consider it a celebration, his biggest Birthday Party. We do not want people to forget and we want his death to make a difference. This year it is June 26th. We have also started a grief support group at our church. A 12 week program that use's the Bible to go through the stages of grief. By reaching out to others it in turn helps us. God bless and good luck with web site. We encourage others to plant flowers or trees. We have since adopted a bridge in our City that happened to be named Jody and we clean and plant flowers there. Celebrate your loved ones life, not focus on their death. Find a way that is meaningful to them, that can make a difference in others lives. Adopt an Angel at Christmas. Some one who may have a name similar to your loved one. Our loved ones are content in Heaven with no more worries or pains. Therefor in their honor do something for someone who is in need. God will bless you.



FROM JUDY BOC: First I would like to say how sorry I am for your loss, I know your pain as I have lost a son also. Robbie was 20 when he left this earth and went home to Heaven. I do something special on the anniversaries and birthday's for my son and on Mothers Day. I put forget-me-not-seeds in a few balloons and then have them filled with hellium. Later I release them to Robbie, knowing that when they burst the seeds will fall gently to earth and somewhere on this earth Forget-Me-Nots are growing in memory of my son. I know I can't see where they are but I am sure my son can. This always brings a smile to my face. I have also planted what I call Robbie's Angel Garden in my back yard where I can go anytime and talk too my son. This year the garden is full of wildflowers to attract the precious butterflies. There is a an angel in his garden with two baby angels laying along side of the Mother Angel. An Angel birdbath stands in this garden for the birds to feel free to come to drink or bathe. What a pleasure I had yesterday when two morning doves landed to laze and drink in this bird bath. For me my son is not in the cemetary, he is in his back yard among the angels, butterflies, and doves enjoying the peace and tranquility of his Angel Garden. Please visit my site www.meetingofhearts.com and come into our chat room as I am sure people would love to talk with you.


Brenda Johnstone had a swimming party for her daughter Lana Ledermann's 16th birthday. It is what Lana had said she wanted for this birthday. Here is what Brenda wrote after her "party." It was very hard seeing her best friends & how they have grown & changed. My sister was effected by it the most, she left the room in tears when they got to my house. We took some balloons & planted a plant by her park bench that has her name, an angel & a photo of her, in our neighborhood. After that we headed to the pool.

I was glad to know that the rest of the family was having a hard week also. I thought it was just me. I talked with her dad & he came in town for a short visit. We all had a good cry with my mom talking about her. You are right this griving process is very hard. Hugs to you Brenda


I got this idea from someone in my online support group. One day this guy was talking about doing something that his child would have liked doing. I decided to do that last year. I took her best friend, and we went to see a movie that my daughter Robyn would have chosen to see. I hope that we can do it again this year. It made her birthday more bearable.



Dear Julane, I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face...thank you so much for adding Melissa's picture to your beautiful site. It warms my heart to see her in the company of such beautiful children...all Angels who have gone too soon. But who are all within the loving arms of our Saviour. My husband, son and I take balloons to Melissa's gravesite and after many tears and prayers, we let them fly to the Heavens to let her know we're always thinking of her. I also donate books on her special days, to our local library (where I retired as Librarian and now serve on the Board). That is a lasting memorial. We have gardens planted at our homes with Angels standing guard...all perennials, and my son has a dogwood tree in the center of his garden. We have installed Angel lights at her gravesite so that she will never be in the dark. Just a few of our memorial tributes. Luv'n prayers, Lissa


This was an email I got 9/99 and asked her for a photo, she waited until this past year's was done also. I got the photos 1/25/00, so now it is on the page.

Jarrett was 13 and passed away of a rare brain aneurysm, December 14, 1997. On the first anniversary of Jarrett passing away, his friends and close family members, all met out at the cemetery. And because it had just snowed in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, we had an Ice Sculpture of an angel made and a large heart attached with his picture and the etching that was done on the heart read: Jarrett Born an Angel on Dec. 14, 1997. We lit fireworks and played the Puff Daddy Song I will be missing you.

His friends read their poems about Jarrett and my husband read a letter that Jarrett had written to himself about what God meant to him, which was a grade 7 class assignment, before we knew he was sick. Then we all went back to our home and had his favorite meal - Pizza and Root Beer.

It only took 20 mins at the cemetery, but the kids said the ice sculpture was so Jarrett, because that's the kind of kid he was - the best ideas and always original. So, this year his friends want us to have a hockey player made. It only cost as much as a dozen white roses. The ice sculpture lasts about a month in our cold climate. (The photo for the 1999 ice sculpture is also shown)

I know his friends will never forget, but as time passes it will be only my husband, and I and our daughter that will remember that day. It's OK, because I know they still remember in their hearts and that helps a little. I know you understand the pain in the early years but as you say time helps. Sincerely, Sandra Alley,

This was added 2/1/00His teacher, Mrs. Hanrahan, is an extremely well known artist in Calgary and on Jarrett's 16th birthday she is honoring him by having a large art show in his memory. She is calling the show "pieces of gold" a dedication to Jarrett on his actual 16th birthday. It will be paintings of winter/fall scenes. Jarrett was a winter person. She went down to where he rode his bike in Fish Creek Provincial Park and painted places Jarrett would of had to have ridden his prized mountain bike. We will attend and I couldn't be more honored by her gift, it will help get through this milestone birthday. The 16th! I made a wreath for the cemetery that had hot wheel cars on it with laminated pictures of Jarrett, my husband attached a drivers manual. It was a very hard day but I just need for those milestones not to go by without doing something physical.


This is from Jerry Mudge (Footprints Ministry) smudge0410@aol.com, "They'll come." I kept hearing a voice say. "But, they've been avoiding me," I said. "They'll come because they want to help, but don't know how. This party will give them the chance they need to help you and themselves. You need people who care to be with you on that day." "That Day" was the first anniversary of the deaths of my two sons, Leon and Wayne. They were 29 and 28 when they were killed together in a car accident.

"Lord, if this voice I hear is really you and you want it to happen, give me hymns and scriptures to read. But Lord I need a sign from you." The voice kept talking, "They will come and I will help you." "Lord, I need fifty people to come. Then I will know you planned it and will let other people know in order to praise your Holy Name."

At first my family thought I was crazy. A celebration at a time like that - they were afraid no one would come. They skeptically went along as I felt so strongly. Friends helped me call other friends and those of my sons. Some said they would come, even though they knew it would be a sad occasion.

I asked every guest to bring a plant bulb that we would put in a little memorial garden in our front yard. I also asked that they write any special memory of Leon or Wayne to be saved in a scrapbook. This was the first time I'd asked anyone to do anything for us since the funeral. I asked my pastor for a simple service to dedicate the garden.

Friends offered to prepare food, and a former employer donated money for napkins, plates and drinks. A balloon warehouse gave me discounts on 50 light sticks and balloons. The light sticks were to be attached to the balloons.

A friend of mind typed up notices for everyone to use and keep as a remembrance. Each one had a bookmark with a scripture verse attached to it. Pastor Tim read the Scripture verses that God wanted us to use: John 11:25, John 5:24 and Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. We dedicated the garden where we had planted the two dogwood trees, sang hymns and praised the Lord. We released the balloons on the last verse of "Amazing Grace". The light sticks on the balloons glowed with a beautiful radiance.

Then everyone came inside for refreshments. I counted exactly 50 people, the number I had requested, PRAISE GOD! The house was full of laughter and everyone had a good time visiting and reading the memories of Wayne and Leon. I thought to myself that this house needed to hear laughter again.


What do you do for your child on their birthday when they are no longer here to buy them a gift or take them out to dinner or bake their favorite cake?

Bryan lived with his father, Pinky, in Columbia, SC and was a student at Midlands College. His father and I have been divorced for many years but we always let Bryan know that he was first in both of our lives. I now live in Charleston, SC which is about two hours away. When I went home to visit, Pinky was always gracious enough to let me stay at his home. That way I could stay up late with Bryan and watch TV, cook breakfast and spend as much time as I could with him.

I called Bryan's dad and told him that I wanted to do something very special but I needed help. When his birthday was approaching, his dad called and said, "Why don't you just stay here and I will help you do the things that you want to do," I gathered the photo albums and he and I sat there for hours looking through photos to place on a bulletin board of Bryan's life. I bought 23 balloons and a ceramic angel to place at his grave along with an "Angel Kisses" candle. A couple of days beforehand, Pinky called and asked if this was just for family as Bryan's friends had called and they all wanted to come. It turned into a much larger memorial than I expected. To me this began as a Mama wanting to honor her son on his birthday since I was unable to even "speak" at his funeral. I just wanted Bryan to know that his Dad and I were still there for him on this day.

I wanted to begin before dark and have the ending just after sunset so that the we could leave the candle burning. This whole thing turned out so beautiful. I read a poem and played "Because you Loved me" by Celine Dion. Bryan's friends, strapping 22 and 23 year old "boys" along with his lovely girlfriend, were all crying. We stayed until well after dark. They, his friends, asked me if I would play "Fly" by Celine Dion as it is on the same tape. This is the song that they, his buds, played for Bryan at his funeral. They sat there and played it over and over and over. His friends planned Bryan's funeral.

When I arrived at my ex's house on that awful Sunday morning after his accident, the house was packed. I was, as you know, in such a state of shock the thought of music had not even crossed my mind until the next day. I asked Pinky what about music, who was to speak, etc. He told me that Bryan's friends had pretty much taken care of everything, and they had. Directly after the funeral service when his friends were offering me and Pinky their condolences, I had three of his friends hug me and say in my ear as they hugged, "Bryan loved his Mama".

This photo was actually taken on Bryan's 23rd birthday, 11/6/99....the balloons, etc.

It was several days after his funeral that they went back to the cemetery and pulled the concrete blocks from the perimeter of the plot and gave him their "monument." Anyway, I left the cemetery the night of his birthday and went back to Pinky's house and left his friends at the cemetery. About a half hour later, they came to the house and were all telling their favorite Bryan story. I was sitting in the rocking chair in the corner of the room just taking in every word and that was when I heard the B-Love Story.

All of his friends called him B-Love. I never knew why until that evening. The house was full of his friends and finally, I heard it. They started talking about how Bryan would always tell them that he loved them. I sat in the corner quietly and listened to them talk. One guy said, "Yeah, he always had to grab you around the neck when he was leaving to go home and would say, 'Tomorrow, I may kick your butt, but tonight, I love you.'". So they started calling him B-Love. How wonderful that my son could tell his friends that he loved them. And they loved him.

On that particular evening, on Bryan's 23rd birthday, I slept in his bed in his room and for the only night since he was killed up to today, I slept the entire night. It was as if Bryan had his arms wrapped around me that night and allowed me one night of restful sleep.

I was talking with Pinky just the other day as we have not put a headstone yet at his graveside. I tried one day to look at monuments and found that I could not yet do it. He has been the same way. As we were talking, I said, "Pinky, we have to get a marker for Bryan" to which he replied, "I know, Mickey, but he has one for now". And he does. Even when we do get a marker, we are going to leave the B-Love there.

I am slowly compiling a "memory book" for me. Whenever I have a memory, I make myself a note on a pad I keep at my bedside, on the kitchen table, in the car, by the computer and at my desk at work. I don't want time or old age to diminish any memory of special days or words we shared. Thank you so much.


I was alone on Sarah's birthday. I took the day off. I had thought I might return to the hiking trail where I was when she died. But I couldn't. I haven't been able to go back there. I live too far away from where she was born or where her ashes are scattered. So I went to the store and bought her three birthday cards, wrote in them, and added them to the scrapbook of her life which I am slowly compiling. I spoke with a friend of Sarah's and with family. And I grieved and waited for the worst of the terrible pain to pass. It did. I have to talk to myself to remember that it is ok to feel better. Be well, Nancy


And thank you for asking about Evan's birthday - it was hard, but really no different that any other day of the year - they all hurt. We took his little sister, Alexis, to Chuckie Cheese as an escape for us as well as a reward for her behaving at daycare during the week. We will always do something to celebrate his birthday. She even wanted to sing Happy Birthday when we decorated his tree in our front yard with 6 ceramic tiles featuring scenes from the sea (we live in Fla.). Last year we had 5 pinwheels around it. We chose an azalea tree so it would always be blooming during his birth month and this year it looked great. I am working on a web site for him and will e-mail you the address once it is complete. I will also be sharing your site with his many family members and friends so they can all say a little pray for each and every angel featured. Thanks again...Christine


Hi my name is Kathy and I lost my son May 6,1999. He was diagnosed with colon cancer 6 months after he graduated from high school and was told he didn't have much time left. Keith would have been 21 in January of this year. I did a lot of praying because I knew the day was going to be a tough one. The answer came. What would Keith want me to do. He would not want me to mourn his death but celebrate his life. What better way to do it but with a 21st birthday party with all his friends and family. Looking a pictures and watching videos of the fun days. We had a wonderful evening and we knew that Keith was celebrating with us. I know this is not the solution for everyone but we all felt so good. Keith was one who worried about everyone else and this way he could look down on us and see we still love him and we continue to celebrate his life.


Julane, Mark's cousin Karen Smith just finished a beautiful quilt made from Lana's clothes I had kept. Its so nice seeing her soccer uniform & other clothing that bring back wonderful memories. She also added some photos I had given her by using iron on transfer. We are adding beads & things to it that had belonged to Lana. She liked to make beaded necklaces for her friends & to sell. After we are finished I plan to hang it on the wall in our hallway so that it can be admired by everyone. I will take a photo of it & put it on Lanas memorial site also. She is also making several smaller quilts for me to give to family members. I plan on giving one to Lanas best friend Sorren who will be graduating from high school this year. Some of the clothing in the quilt are hand me downs from Sorren, so I know she will love to have it. We still keep in touch everyday through email & I hope we continue to do so over the years. I just thought I would share this idea so that if anyone else does not know what to do with there loved ones clothing this is a beautiful idea. Hugs to you, Brenda


Suzy Wilson wrote that she will be vacationing on a Gulf Coast beach when the heaven anniversary of Todd arrives this year. She came up with this wonderful idea while setting on her deck and noticing her grandson's kite. "The wind was perfect so (yep, you guessed it), I picked the kite up, held the string, and away it went! It flew clear to the end of the string! There's something about flying a kite that excites me!" Thus, the idea of sending messages to Todd via a kite rather than balloons. The kite will go to the end of the string and then they will cut it loose.

I can't wait. We are all excited about the ritual. It will help me get through that day. Yes, the ritual has taken precedence over the anniversary of the "tragic day" and I really think being on one of Todd's favorite beaches will make it very special." She will write a note to Todd on the kite and so will Todd's sister and her grandkids. (Suzy sent me these photos after their trip.)


Just wanted to let you know that on Jennys 18th birthday (June 30th) we are going out to the cementary that morning and exactly at 10:03 let 18 balloons free. Then we plan on going bowling with the whole family. That evening we'll come back home and have a barbecue and just spend time with the family. I am making a cake in memory of her. Later that night my son will let his balloons fly on our baseball field at home.

This is all for our Special Angel Jenny, We miss you very much. From Jennys mom, Barbara


This will be Ryan's second anniversary of his death. It will be his third birthday since his death this September. He would have been 21. All of Ryan's closest friends come and go to church with us the closest Sunday. We eat together and share great memories of Ryan. On his death anniversary we go to the cemetery and place flowers, balloons and tokens of love. One of his friends sings and Bob my husband (Ryan's Dad) prays and gives thanks to God for Ryan and for his loving friends. we could not make it without them. They come home from college, the service or they call or e-mail us on every special occasion. Attached Picture is last Christmas. There are 17 in the PIC but 22 came. They all came on the 22nd and we celebrated together. The tree and mantle decorations were done in little wooden hearts for the girls, golf clubs and balls for the guys with their names and bear angels for Ryan. I have planted a Memorial Garden in our yard and friends have planted special trees, give me new plants for it and little statues in memory of Ryan. We Praise God for these wonderful days with Ryan's Friends. They are a blessing. Frankie Milley


On his Birthday which is August 7, we sneak into the ceremery at midnight, my brother also has the same birthday as our son, so we sing Happy Birthday to them both. We all have a bottle of beer and then we shoot off fireworks, and run. We still celebrate his birthday, even though he is dead, because we are so glad to have had him, no matter how short the time was. My son's name is Dennis M. Foltz Jr., and he will be 26 years old on August 7. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Take Care, Nancy Foltz


This week we celebrated Carlie's second birthday. All I wanted to do was go into her room and pick her up and say there's the birthday girl and give her a big hug. Instead I cried most of the day. We got balloons for her grave site and had a pink ribbon across her stone that said Happy Birthday Carlie. We were going to have a picnic with her but it rained and we couldn't. That night, though, I started a support group for bereaved parents. It was a great turn out. I even had a birthday cake that said Happy Birthday but didn't put her name. I was fighting over that for about the whole month. Everyone couldn't believe of all days, to have a support group, to start that day. I told everyone that Carlie told me to. I went home exhausted both mentally and physically that night and cried myself to sleep. I wanted to release the balloons but my son Davy, four and a half, says that Carlie wants them where they are. So the day in itself was real hard. Thanks for listening. Jan


Yeah, the second birthday was the worst. The 1st one was so close to the accident, I was still numb, I went and had her name tattooed on my ankle, of course, I had Alex's name done too. Now I have a nice permanent ankle bracelet! This year I sat alone and watched a video of her singing and dancing, she was singing "Mama" by the Spice Girls to me. It was taken about 3 months before we lost her. I held her ashes and bible and cried like crazy. I needed it, I try to be so strong around my husband and son that, I needed to just cut loose:) I felt much better afterwards! Tina (see Rebecca Beidler in Darren's Album)



See more beautiful photos at Mark Duncan's website from the Friends in Heaven Photo Album


My name is Penny I am 24 years old and I lost my daughter on March 1, 2000. She was only 5. It was very tragic. For her what would have been her 6th Birthday my sister and I went to the cemetery and decorated it. With Happy 6th birthday balloons and decorations that we can hang from the trees. Cupcakes for the ants as her way of getting them. It may sound depressing in a way but I don't know how else to deal with the pain nor the loss. I know that she is in a better place and I know that I will one day see her again. But the reality of not being able to reach out and touch her is really getting the best of me right now. Especially with the big Christmas Holiday coming up I am really suffering.


One of the things that my husband and I did for Matthew's birthday is go to the cemetary and release a helium balloon with a special message attached to him. I know it is just a symbolic thing, but it helps.
One of Matt's friends always brings him a can of Barq's Rootbeer, because that was his favorite.
For his 16th birthday (when he would have been getting his driver's license), we put a wreath on his grave that had a small truck (which he had planned to get) and a key ring worked into it.
His friends have taken pictures of their girlfriends out to his grave, stuffed animals, holiday things, and that is a comfort for us to go and see that someone else has been there and remembers Matthew, too.
Matthew loved to watch birds, and so we keep a bird feeder in a tree by his grave, and different people will drop by and fill it up with seeds.
I light a candle every day, as my way of saying "Good morning, Matthew", and I blow it out every night and tell him good night.


Hi Julane - i was reading thru some of the wonderful ideas on your birthday suggestions page and i wanted to share what we do every year on Christopher's birthday, every year since he passed.... you see, Christopher's one wish was always to run fast, just once, since he had a heart disease that prevented him from doing so...... after his heart transplant, he did get his wish. he finally was able to beat his little sister Rachel in a race up our driveway. unfortunately, Christopher did only get a chance to run fast just this once. He passed a mere 5 months after his operation, spending most of that horrible time in the hospital. We came up with an idea to maybe run fast in Christopher's memory. My husband, myself and other family members now run in our Pittsburgh Marathon every year. Our relay team is called Christopher's Courage, and we all wear shirts with Christopher's picture on them. After the marathon, we all go back to my mother-in-law's house, where we have a cake with candles on it for Christopher. My husband and I also run in The Great Race every year, and Kayla's Race for SIDS.
I hope that this idea helps someone else out there who needs to do something positive with all the anger and frustration that grieving brings along with it, even if you may not really feel up to it, running or any other physical activity truly can help. Love and hugs, Maria ��VISIT CHRISTOPHER FALLER'S MARVELOUS SITE from Darren's Friends in Heaven Album



I come here to your web page a lot and read all the stories. Today I was reading what people do on their angel's birthday and anniversary. On my Christina's birthday. me, my husband and my son and all of her aunts and uncles and cousins went to grave site. I made cupcakes and we had punch. We left her some cupcakes to eat. We let off 15 balloons with messages we wrote to her and played some of her favorite songs. I also poured a bottle of Mountain Dew on her grave because it was her favorite pop. And that night all of her closest friends came over to see me. That made it real special to me. I now have a tattoo of a guardian angel with "In memory of Christina L. Shaw 08/13/86 to 01/05/01. Thanks, Betsy




Derek died this November 17th, 2001. He was 16 years old. With the holidays approaching I felt like dying. Our first Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthday, and New Year without him - all within weeks of each other.
Derek would have been 17 this December 28, 2001. I am in tremendous pain, but felt that if I celebrated Derek's New Birthday and life in Heaven, it would help me tremendously.
I decided to stay busy that day. I invited his friends and decided to give Derek a Birthday Party. I baked his favorite cake and we all sang him Happy Birthday.We all then went to the cementary to send Balloons to Derek up in Heaven! We lit five candles in Derek's memory and for all the other kids and parents that are going through the same pain. Derek, was loved by many and he made a big impact on all of his friends' lives. He will never be forgotten! We love you Derek, my precious Sweet Angel!




Hi Julane,
We lost our son, Bobby, 10 years ago last May. He was 29 when he died. We wanted to do something special for this anniversary and we did. Bobby loved the beach. We live on Long Island and our summers are short. Bobby would be at the beach from early spring to late fall. He particularlyloved Jones Beach on the Atlantic Ocean.

We wanted everyone he loved and everyone who loved him to be with us that
day on the beach and share memories. I sent out invitations and asked them to join us in "remembering Bobby". I never called it a memorial service. p> We gathered together that morning. It happened to be a beautiful, sun-filled day. I spoke first and others followed. His brother had us laughing and crying as did other family members and friends who shared their individual memories. Two beautiful girls, who were teenagers when he died, read poems that they wrote years before in his honor.
 
We ended the "remembering" by playing songs that were very meaningful and,
at the same time, distributed white balloons and white long stem roses to everyone. Many went to the water's edge to place their rose in the ocean. When the balloons were released, I can't begin to tell you how beautiful it was to watch them soar. They stayed together, just like a family, until they were completely out of sight.

We followed this very touching and meaningful time with a brunch. Luckily, we were able to host this brunch at a restaurant on the boardwalk, overlooking the beach and ocean.

I know Bobby loved it. While we couldn't see him, we all knew he was there with us. It made what could have been a hard day especially beautiful. 

Thank you for the opportunity to share our story. With all my heart, I hope it offers other parents, family and friends solace, peace and hope that there  
is a tomorrow when you can smile again.
Sincerely,
Lil Rugolo


I lost my only two sons in separate car accidents. Stanley and my nephew James passed away in 1992 and my younger son, Andrew, passed away in 1996. Every year for their anniversary I offer a Mass for them. I invite the family members that can attend and then we usually have a meal at my house. This gives me a little consolation and on those days it helps to have my other family members around.
Florence H. Maestas


Julane,
My name is Beth and, I lost my 14 year old son Scott after heart surgery on May 7, 1997. This year will be 4 years without my wonderful gift from God. Every year on this date we have a memorial. This year we plan to read his favorite book and let balloons go with many notes of love from his family. I have so many notes some of the balloons will have 2 in each one. Scott is buried by the creek he grew up on so we know that this will be a treasured site. Thanks ever so much for this site...it has helped me.
Thanks again, Beth(Scott's Mom)
My son Deryk, was 6 days shy of his 24th Birthday when, tragedy struck! The house, he and his fiance rented caught fire and they were unable to get out. The night before the fire, his fiance Cherie and I were planning a surprise birthday party for him, the next day, I was planning a funeral! Needless to say, we did nothing to honor my precious son's birthday, that year. But, the following year, I was determined not to let the day go by without some kind of a celebration of his life and the day he was born! That's when, I came up with the idea of luminaries on his birthday. I filled 25 lunch sized paper bags, half way with sand, place a tea light candle in the center of the sand and place them outside in the yard, in a circle. I then light the candles. Not an easy thing to do with mittens on! Deryks birthday is in February and we live in Maine! A cold place to be in Feb. As I light each candle, I reflect on the wonderful times we had together as mother and child. This in a sense is my way of giving my son a birthday cake, he can see from heaven!


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