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.