Loveland, CO

Balloons & Spaghetti Help Hospice Families Cope

Media TV

How are a balloon and a piece of spaghetti powerful reminders of loved ones who died? It was a beautiful evening to find the answer to that question. In Loveland, Colorado, the AccentCare hospice team joined with 35 family members for a late July Memorial Balloon Release. After a pasta dinner and brief program, families wrote messages on the balloons before the release. The poignant messages were heartfelt and meaningful from each family member who wrote them.

During the program, AccentCare Social Worker Julie Ferguson talked about how balloons represent memories, hopes, and dreams of the one who died. Spaghetti represents the life we remember. It’s brittle and never the same again once broken. When families released the biodegradable balloons, they’re giving the hopes and dreams back to the person who left them. A 1989 scientific survey found that when a balloon is released some will float to a height of 5 miles, where freezing air pressure causes the balloon to burst into spaghetti like pieces that scatter back to earth and then naturally disintegrate over time. The symbolic pieces are the memories of loved ones.

As the balloons drifted slowly and carefree into the sky, there were many healthy tears in the meaningful moment. The AccentCare hospice team members sent families home with a special resin heart that holds flowers. The gift is a way for them to remember their loved one. The ceremony and balloon release helps family members find peace and reflect about their loved one. For more on hospice,
Waiting to release the balloons.AccentCare Staff
Balloons filled with messages rise in the sky.Julie Ferguson
Balloons float off into the sky, reminding families of loved ones.Julie Ferguson

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