After you child dies, it’s hard to know how to celebrate their birthday. Some people send helium balloons up with messages on them. Some people make their child’s favorite cake. Others will leave an empty seat at the table that no one else can sit in. No matter how you do it, birthdays are never the same as they were before. I struggled with this for a long time. I desperately wanted to give my son a gift, but couldn’t figure out what or how to do it. Being in spirit, he no longer had the same needs.
The first year after Eric died, I felt frantic on his birthday. I didn’t know what to do. That night I dreamed I was searching for him. I was running everywhere asking the people he knew if they had seen him. No one had. The second year, I was more depressed, angry, and disappointed. I felt robbed. There was no cake, no presents, no celebration, but there were plenty of tears. By the third year, I was beginning to discover a way I could give him a gift on his special day. It began with a short note saying how much I loved and missed him. Over time, the notes grew into letters. Eventually, I made it a tradition to write Eric a nice letter every year for his birthday. That way he got a gift from me that was unique and from the heart.
I am interested in how you celebrate the birthdays of those who have departed. It could be your parent, sibling, spouse, child, or a dear friend. We never know who our ideas will touch or help. It could make a big difference in the life of the ones that have to be here without those we miss so much. Your comments, replies and responses are welcome and encouraged.