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Last week I had my birthday. Next week it will be Sean's birthday. His first since he has been gone. Our birthdays are 13 days less than a year apart. So for 13 days we were the same age. Only this year, he wont be going ahead of me anymore. This year I get to be the same age as him for a whole year. Then next year, I will be older than he will ever be. Sean worked away a lot so not being present with each other on our actual birthdays was not unusual. I didn't really miss him as such on my birthday day. I spent it with a friend and we had a great day. I thought I was doing so well. Than last weekend we had a party. A mutual friend shares the same birthday as myself so we throw combined parties each year. Each year they are getting bigger and better. I was so excited about the party and pleased with all our preparations. Then when we all got there, it hit me, Sean may have missed my birthday, but he wouldn't have missed the party. It was just the sort of night he would have enjoyed too. i fought back tears and partied on....until it turned out I had had too much to drink. and then I cried, a lot, and needed taking home, where I cried some more and eventually was put to bed with a Valium. 

This weekend, I am hosting a working bee to tidy up his "stuff"; tools, projects, junk etc. Then that evening we will have a dinner and drinks round the fire in honour of his birthday. Note to self - I wont drink too much! I am really looking forward to having the yard and shed tidied. There are a lot of people all planning on being there which is lovely. I am not sentimental about much of his stuff. I wont be getting rid of important or valuable things. It is more just a tidy up and sort out. It will be good to be with "his" people and tell stories about him and remember him. The evening will be his kind of night. Fire, good food, quiet drinks, stories and laughter. Then next week it will be the day. The birthday. His mum will be staying with us and I don't imagine she will be all that great that day. Her grief is really hard to see and be around. She doesn't expect me to carry her, but we each do it so differently. She is more public and open. I am more practical and private. I don't think I cry enough for her, and I wish she would stop taking his picture everywhere. But of course neither of us say anything! Maybe we can ignore the day and just do it all on the weekend? ..... Never going to happen!

Yesterday it all got too much and I cried. On and off all day. Usually I manage to keep my sad face at home, but yesterday the tears came anyway, just like they did at my party. Its funny how grief does that; takes over. We don't have a lot of say in the matter really. Birthdays used to be be days of joy and fun and presents and celebration. Now they are tinged with sadness, emptiness, loneliness, loss. We loose so much when a loved one dies. So much changes and becomes fraught. They are all approached with an element of trepidation now. I wish it wasn't all so exhausting. I wish we could just celebrate. Like we used to. 

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Comment by vintage56(barb) on October 12, 2018 at 6:24am

I went through my birthday in August. People say Happy Birthday but how can it be happy, when the person who made it special for me, is no longer here? They just don't get it.

Comment by Frank P on October 11, 2018 at 1:13pm

Hi everyone, my birthday is coming in a few days, first one without Mary.we usually went away for it , either a trip or at least a weekend away, then maybe pizza out with family, i lost her July 5th so this Monday will be a very hard day,I’m going to take a long ride with my dog (mojo) and lay low , it doesn’t feel real that she’s gone , the holidays will be empty and a rough time, god bless everyone and thanks for letting me in FRANK 

Comment by MidnightBear (Tony) on October 11, 2018 at 7:32am

My birthday and my wife's are 11 days apart, but there are 2 years difference between us.  Our birthdays are coming up soon and just thinking about it has been bugging me for some time.  I know a part of my grief over it is that her death day was 4 days before her birthday.  When we went to the hospital for the last time, we asked how long she had, they said 2 to 4 months, we ended up with 6 days, I had been hoping for at least 1 month so we could get through her birthday which was to be her 45th.   Birthdays I am sure are going to be rough going forward.  On my birthday, my wife was typically the only person who said anything.  Sure people posted on facebook but I don't consider that really a personal happy birthday, that is just responding to an event on their facebook feed.  

I would say that for me, being fully aware of the day is going to be important.  I need to let whatever emotions have to wash over me, happen without dulling them.  I don't drink anyway, but even if I did, I would avoid it on that day.  I feel if I try to numb it, I will just prolong the issue more than really helping myself.  Try to find the good the comes of the bad, the friends and family who have formed up around you, the opportunity to share a memory with those who would have at least some understanding.  It isn't all pleasant but not all celebration is. Try to find comfort and a bit of joy.  

Comment by laurajay on October 9, 2018 at 8:58pm

Mini suggestion Emma.  Do  not  drink and  take  Valium .  Bad  combo  with possible  dire  [email protected]   Actually  alcohol  is a depressant  and whileyou think it is  easing  the  is   bringing  you  further  down.  Have  sparkling  non alcoholic juice  or  such until you are stronger emotionally.  Your healing requires  you do your part  when you can.....not  things  to make  it worse.....grief  is  plenty  painful  on  it's own. Not  easy  but possible.

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