An uncommon sight brings comfort to my brothers.
This is not my story. I heard it second hand from two of my brothers who witnessed this event.
Dad was buried in the Veteran’s Cemetery. The experience was all very tasteful. The funeral coaches moved numbed family pieces to the correct places. In the church, into the limousines to follow the hearse, and finally to the end.
The limos pulled up on one side of a building. I saw the bulldozer’s gaping jaws widened over the freshly dug grave. My dad’s.
Burials aren’t the same as in 1983 when my sister died. Back then, we watched them lower the casket and then threw roses on top. I was sickened by throwing life upon death.
For Dad’s funeral, we were all seated outside in metal chairs, my dad’s military steel-gray casket before us. The Honor Guard presented Mom with the flag. And then we were done.
My two brothers returned to the cemetery the next day to visit the grave site. Something I never want to see.
I guess we’re supposed to rejoice because my dad’s in a better place with Jesus, and my sister. And God. If you can believe.
As my brothers walked away, something caught the attention of both. They turned to see a heart-shaped balloon literally rocketing from Dad’s grave site. There was no floating like a normal balloon, just an upshot into the sky until it vanished.
Of course, everyone says this was our father’s final farewell. I’m happy for my brothers who felt this way. I envy their peace of mind. The event brushes the edges of my subconscious, but the supposed meaning is resented by me.
In these times of contradiction, sometimes the image makes me smile.