How Can We Acknowledge Our Person's Birthday?Feb 26, 2023
Losing someone we love is awful. Then when a birthday or another milestone comes around, it can magnify our grief infinitely.
And like…what are we supposed to be doing on our loved one’s birthday? Should we be celebrating? Should we go to the cemetery? Should we be crying?
Ok, first of all: let’s take “should” out of our vocabulary when it comes to grief and grieving. There is no right or wrong way to feel grief and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. You do you.
Second, let’s embrace the full array of emotions that come with these big ol’ griefy days. It's okay to feel sad, angry, or whatever emotions you have. Just let it all breathe: it's ok to feel anything that comes up for you.
So, when it comes to how you tackle a birthday or another milestone day in your grief, this is a time to be intentional about…your time. Ask yourself: what might feel meaningful to me? How do I want to honor my person and myself on this day?
When it comes to grieving, it’s about the feeling and not as much about the doing…here are a few ideas for some inspiration that might help create space for those feelings:
- Take the day off work. If you want to tell your employer why you’re using a personal day, go right ahead. If you don’t want to, don’t worry about it. But giving yourself space on these milestone days is really important.
- Gather with friends and family: This can be as simple as having some folks over for dinner, or you could host a big celebration with music, food, and drinks. If celebrating feels right, do that. You could tell stories about your loved one as you gather together. Laughing might feel right. Crying might feel right. Maybe a mix of both!
- Create a memory book: Gather photos, letters, or other notes to create a memory book that you can look back on and cherish. This can be a wonderful way to keep your loved one's memory alive and share their story with others.
- Make a donation or volunteer: Consider getting involved with a charity or cause that was important to your loved one. This can be a great way to honor their legacy and make a positive impact in their name.
- Light a candle: Light a candle in honor of your loved one's memory. This can be a simple yet powerful way to remember them and still go through the birthday ritual.
- Cook their favorite meal: Prepare your loved one's favorite meal or dessert and enjoy it with family and friends. This can be a special way to share memories and celebrate their life.
- Do something they loved: If your loved one had a particular hobby or interest, consider doing something in their honor. For example, if they loved to paint, you could take an art class or visit a museum. If they loved music, you can create a playlist of their favorite songs and listen to it while reminiscing about happy memories you shared together.
- Write a card: Just because your person isn’t here anymore, doesn’t mean you can’t write out your feelings and share your love in a greeting card. Writing a card can feel celebratory and cathartic, all at once.
Remember, everyone grieves differently, so it's important to find what works for you in this moment in time– and it might look different for you next year. Whether it's a quiet day of reflection or a big celebration with loved ones, the most important thing is to make space for your grief in a way that feels meaningful to you.
We hope this has been helpful and that you can find some comfort in celebrating the life of your loved one on their birthday.
If you have a special ritual for your person’s birthday, we want to hear from you! Share your story on Instagram and tag us or shoot us an email at [email protected].
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