Our Story
By Michelle’s Mum, Helen

On June 4, 2006, twelve months since our beautiful daughter Michelle died—we sat around a campfire on a rocky outcrop overlooking our farming property in Australia. We were under the canopy of a clear blue cloudless winter sky and enjoyed a picnic lunch and a bottle of red wine.

We watched as thirty red helium balloons floated slowly up off in the wide blue heavens…the amazing thing was long after we had lost sight of the red balloon we could still see the glinting of the silver hearts tied to the balloon tails…glinting as the sun caught them on their journey onward and upward.

Surrounded and enveloped by Michelle’s family- Mum, Dad, sister, younger brother, with his lovely partner, and our three dogs. We sent this loving tribute to our beautiful Michelle. A balloon for each year she spent here on earth with us and another for our year without her. Michelle would have been thirty years old on her birthday June 19, 2006.

On this day we remembered Michelle in a quiet and loving way by spending the day on the farm. Michelle loved being on the farm, it was her peace, her place to get away from the busy city. She would put on her work boots and find her father. Together they would work, hour after hour, recharging her tired batteries, soaking up some good country air and having some of Mum’s home cooking.

The land was ‘in her blood’ and this seemed just the place we needed to be on this day. Picnicking and camping out with a tent on the hill, something the kids loved to do with their friends and cousins. Their adventures would be planned long before the school term ended

The day of Michelle’s death was a very special day and one that I was dreading, It came along all too quickly, as other firsts do, and I couldn’t step around it or keep out of it’s way. So we made it the best day we could, creating new memories. Despite our pain and heartache and missing her so much, we will always be aware of the huge gap she has left in our lives. I know the love we feel for Michelle is just as strong and will continue to bind us together as a family. She has left this legacy of her time with us, the wonderful, beautiful, loving daughter, sister and friend that she was. That is all I know for now…and all I need to know.

When we saw the silver twinkle of the hearts, I like to think it was the twinkling of Michelle’s eyes we could see as she gathered our balloons in her arms and felt the love that was sent with them.

We attended a wedding in Switzerland with Michelle in 2004 and guests discharged hundreds of balloons. Michelle was so excited and happy that day. It was the Auzzies job to fill the helium balloons and tie tails. As you can imagine, there was much laughter as the helium not only filled the balloons. Maybe it was this happy memory of Michelle and the sound of her laughter that overshadowed the sadness of her death on this day for us. We held Michelle close in our hearts as we watched the heavens consume our red balloons. It was our message of love to our beautiful Michelle!