Welcome to the Sweet Pea Project's Blog, part of the Sweet Pea Project's effort to create a supportive and compassionate community for those of us affected by the death of a child. Here you will find updates on the Sweet Pea Project, as well as anything going on in the world that relates to childloss. If you have a suggestion for a topic you would like to see discussed here, I'd love to hear it. Please make sure you stop by the official website, www.sweetpeaproject.org and feel free to email me for any reason at anytime at Stephanie@sweetpeaproject.org.
peace, Stephanie Cole (Madeline's Mom)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sweet Pea Project's 1st Annual Balloon Release

Last night was the Sweet Pea Project's First Annual Balloon Release. It is hard to capture the evening in words. It was beautiful, a little sad, inspiring, humbling and an absolute honor. We invited the community to gather together to remember their children and celebrate their short but precious lives.

Over two hundred people gathered on the grassy field to fill balloons with love letters and send them floating up into the air. It is difficult to describe the way it felt to see so many people there. From an event planner's perspective, it was wonderful to see the community participating like that. But knowing that each person was there because a baby that they love had died... my heart just broke over and over again.

The day before the event was cold and rainy, and we were so worried that our plans would be ruined by the weather. Thankfully, Friday was sunny with a blue sky full of puffy white clouds. It was windy, and a little chilly, but nobody seemed to mind. As we read each child's name aloud and released their balloons, the sun shone brightly through the trees and we all stood in awe as the wind picked up each balloon and carried it directly into the most amazing patch of golden light I have ever seen.

It was perfect.

To everyone who participated:
It was an incredible honor to be able to share the evening with you in memory of your children. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

I am lucky enough to have a professional photographer for a brother, and he has given me over 900 images from last night. I am in the process of editing them now, but thought I'd share a few with you here. And so I will leave you with a little taste of the beauty that was the Sweet Pea Project's First Annual Balloon Release.

The field filled with families who had set this evening aside to remember, honor and celebrate the little ones they love and miss.

Families remembering together, writing notes to their children, brothers and sisters.

The notes were written on paper
embedded with wildflower seeds.

Notes were inserted into biodegradable balloons. When the balloons burst, the earth will reclaim them and wildflowers will sprout from the love letters we wrote to our children.

Singer/songwriter Bobbi Carmitchell
provided beautiful music.

Listening to music and
waiting to release the balloons.

Families released balloons
as their child's name was read.

The wind carried the balloons into
a patch of glowing golden light.

And the sky was filled with balloons.

And it was all for them.

Images courtesy of
Fine Art Photographer
Christopher J. Kulfan


  1. so very beautiful! I love the seeds in the paper and the biodegradable balloons? where can I get some of that?

  2. I am so glad the weather cooperated for all of you. It is so wonderful that so many turned out but sad at the same time. Thank You for sharing the pictures!

  3. Oh Stephanie, I got goose bumps reading this nd looking at the pictures, what a wonderful event.

  4. Thank you so much for organizing this. It was such a great way to remember our babies. You are right the sun setting was such an amazing back drop for those balloons to fly up to our little angels. Thank you again. Your brother did a great job with the photos. I would love to see more when they are ready.

  5. What a beautiful way to celebrate the ones we lost. Thanks for sharing this. Mo