Beautiful tribute ideas to honor loved ones

On July 28, the local Wellington County (Ontario) chapter of MADD Canada will be releasing 1500 butterflies into the air in memory of the close to 1500 victims killed by impaired drivers in 2011. Taking place at a local park, a bench will also be dedicated in memory of those victims as well as the survivors of impaired driving crashes.

My heart tugged at the thought of such an amazing and beautiful tribute. I wish I could be there to see it in person.

In 2010, we held a one-year anniversary memorial for Mamma K where the family came together to honor her spirit and remember. We had a head stone erected and we buried some of her ashes there. We laid flowers at her grave. We all shared stories and memories about her.

And we all wrote her a little note that we attached to red (environmentally friendly) helium-filled balloons. Together, we released those balloons into the air to be carried to her in heaven. I remember how we all stood for a long time watching those balloons sail off into the sky. The tears rolling down our cheeks. The emotion and the love that filled the air. It was one of the most moving and beautiful tributes I’ve ever been a part of.

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As hubby and I become more and more involved with our local Chapter of MADD Canada, we are gathering ideas for different kinds of memorials and tributes to hold for victims and survivors. What kinds of tributes have you seen or been a part of that have wowed you?

On August 1, 2009, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web. And answer their Call to Action (the post is dated 2010 but the Call to Action is ongoing)!

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  1. Hubby aka Blog Heckler says:

    The butterflies would be awesome….I really enjoyed the balloons!!!

  2. I think 1500 butterflies would be so fitting…flying free. I love your tribute to your mother-in-law. Hopefully those balloons took away some of the anger that likely lingered due to the tragedy and left you both with good memories and all of your resolve to work at wiping out impaired driving. You both should be very proud of yourselves. Hubby’s Mom is proud, for sure.

  3. The baloons with the notes attached is a loving tribute and the picture your shared is awesome. I’m a big fan of memory benches along public walking paths – but their cost can be prohibitive. The love and honor we hold in our hearts is free and the memories we keep alive for future generations are all-important. I’ve started a project wherein I’m passing along something special my parents used in their everyday lives to their great grandchildren when they graduate high school as a rememberance. With the gift, I include a letter with memories and a picture.

  4. Karen McFarland says:

    As always Natalie, your friday posts about MADD and drunk driving touch my heart. What is it about butterflies? There’s such a feeling of tranquility and peace, freedom and beauty. And balloons work for me too. Very uplifting post girl. Thank you. 🙂

    • Awww thank you Karen. I soooo appreciate your support and swinging by to drop a line. Means a lot.
      Yeah…the butterflies would be beautiful and moving I think. Peace – what a perfect way to put it!

  5. A year after my best friend was killed, a group of us got together and planted a tree in the yard of her church in memory of her. I think when we do something like that it helps give us a sense of closure. We’re acknowledging that they’re gone, but we’re also promising to never forget them.

    • Oh Marcy, I love that idea!
      A friend of ours lost his father recently and instead of sending flowers, a group of us went in together and actually sent a TREE to the funeral home. When we went to the visitation, I couldn’t believe it, the thing was 8 feet tall. As we went through the reception line, everyone commented what a great idea it was and we became known as “the tree people….” Later that week, our friends brought it home and planted it in their backyard so that they’d have a special memorial spot.
      Lovely idea and having it at her church makes it so that anyone and everyone can go and visit and remember her any time. So beautiful.
      I love how you said “we’re acknowledging that they are gone but we’re also promising to never forget them…” Brought tears to my eyes….thank you for sharing that!

  6. Awww, I love the butterflies and the balloons. I sure wish I’d known Mamma K, but feel like I do through your posts. What an awesome angel to have watching over you, my sweet friend.

    • Awww Tameri, she’d of LOVED you and just eating you up….I know it!!!
      It is wonderful to think of her as our guardian angel smiling down….warms the heart for sure!

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