The annual Twinless Twin Conference had concluded. I pondered the events, memories and the death of my twin sister in the womb. Questioning myself of where I was on the journey of the grieving process, I set out Sunday morning for a long run around Ford Lake. Heavy on my heart, was the balloon release experience of the previous day. I chose a lavender colored balloon thinking that my sister would choose that over pink which I chose last year. The releasing of the balloons last year in Denver was very powerful and healing.
Embraced and surrounded in the arms of another twinless twin, I sobbed and sobbed. Surprised at the release of my emotions, I was pondering what my emotional reactions would be this time. With a marker in my hand, I wrote notes to my beloved deceased sibling. I shared the status of my children. I wrote my love and devotion to her and the joy of being with her again. Clinging to the helium filled balloon, I followed the group to a grassy hill. Poems were read and a very choice song was heard about remembering me always. I fought back the tears with many long deep breaths of life. At the appointed time, balloons were released high into the blue sky. The wind carried them away. Not mine. I let go of the white ribbon and the lavender balloon with my message to my sister went straight to the grass. I didn’t want it to pop at such a sacred time. I felt the impulse to kick it up with my right foot. Oh how could I do such an action to something representing the other half of me?
Why would she want to go to the earth and not up into the sky? What freedom I saw in the other balloons. The weeping of others increased with each ascent of the balloons. Then to my horror I heard a balloon explode. Where could I turn for comfort? My back was turned to the other balloons and twinless twins. A gut wrenching pain increased as the seconds past. Maybe it was the balloon of someone else? With courage, I turned my tear filled eyes to see a sky full of balloons. I searched the blue sky for my lavender balloon covered with my sentiments of love and grief for my sister. I walked, no ran, to the group that had begun to gather again. Deep in my heart, I questioned, “Was that my balloon that dropped and popped?” Others loaded the bus to return to the hotel. I couldn’t face anyone because of the condition that I was in at the time. Walking back to the hotel was the best choice which would decrease the pain.
As I ran I approached the grassy hill again. It was a cool, beautiful morning. My heart rate increased as I drew near the place of the balloon release. There at my feet were the remains of the lavender balloon and white ribbon. In despair, I dropped to my bare knees in agony. Gently I caressed the remnants. In my palms, I could see the writing on the balloon. “Oh how much pain must I endure?” I shouted. I knew in my heart that today and now would be another step of closure for me. What should or could I do with what was in my hands? Run. Run Brent. I sprinted back to the trail. In a few minutes I came upon a steep decline into the lake area. Running has been very therapeutic for me for the past 7 years. The ability to clear my head and heart at times has been greatly needed and appreciated. The time and miles past as I carried the relics of the balloon and ribbon in my hands. While lecturing and caring for those who have lost a twin, I have suggested a burial. Taking to heart my advice, I searched for the site for my twin sister. Next to a tree seemed to soften my heart and quicken my pace. No not that tree, I pondered. May be that one or even maybe under a rock would be a special place. Then off in the distance I saw the precious location to put to rest the remnants of what I chose to represent my dear twin sister.
As heavy as my heart has ever been I knelt again on my bare knees. No one was in sight to see or hear my sobs. I lifted the rock and cleared the debris as I have done in burying animals that have died. This was very different. This time there was so body to lay to rest. Spreading the balloon and the white ribbon on the ground, I whispered my farewell bid to my sister.
Run. Run Brent. I did. What a relief I felt. The extremely heavy burden on my heart and shoulders was gone. The angels were with me as I floated around the lake. As I approached the steep incline leaving the lake trails, the heaviness in my body was gone. At the top of the hill, I turned to look back at the grave site of my sister with no remorse.
With each passing moment the healing from grief of the death of my sister diminishes.
As I pass a cemetery, I now know that all is well with my sister and me, for we are free.