Typed on the plane on the 1st of July
Hello! As promised this post will be about my experience of Red Nose Day (25th June) this year. Specifically, the remembrance service held in Melbourne. I even took notes!
It started off like all Melbourne days lately – horrible and rainy. Strangely, it wasn't that cold. Just rainy. I thought it was pretty apt for a memorial service. I thought about what I would wear for maybe ten seconds – my rainbow dress of course! I even wore a pair of rainbow socks that I bought myself for my birthday. I was in a pretty good mood. As I went to leave, I thought I'd grab a photo of Ianto to take with me and look at during the service. This would end up being a great decision. I was kicking myself later on when I realized I should have brought Ianto's teddy bear, though.
I really reckon they should advertise next year's memorial better. I knew about it and I had trouble finding information (I'd been told about it by my counselor Denise) so I would have had no help if I didn't know.
I was pretty disappointed about the weather once I realized I'd have to cover my tattoo up (it was that or freeze to death from the rain) so I did all I could to show off my dress and socks. I'm looking forward to summer so I can show it off again! Rainbows kept popping up again. On the train, I was staring out the window, thinking about what was to come, and I saw a lady (man?) with a rainbow umbrella. I saw an identical one while walking to the service. At the service, there was a line in a poem about rainbows… I was really hoping for a real rainbow later on, but it didn't happen.
At the service itself… Oh, it was fantastic. Singing, poems, speeches... It was so calming being around other people who have lost kids. I noticed as I got there that there were photos of children near the altar (it was held in a church, but wasn't religious at all) so I asked if I was allowed to place Ianto's photo there too. I was most definitely allowed! They encourage people to place photos there. I put mine front and centre.
Just before the end of the service, they asked if anyone wanted to come up and speak. I'd seen in the program that they would be doing this, so I'd prepared by handwriting my poem "In The Still" so I could read it. Before me, though, was a boy whose twin had died at six months old. This boy was maybe 17? 20? and he just spoke from his heart to his brother he never got to know. I had tears pouring down my face – not the best time for me to be getting up to speak myself but I pushed on. I stumbled over a couple of words while I was introducing myself, then read my poem. I had people coming up to me afterwards telling me how brave I was, normally people don't get the courage to get up there for quite a while, and here I was only four months after losing Ianto speaking to everyone. So proud of myself.
Then came the balloon release. It was magnificent.