Not an Unhappy Birthday

June 6, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, mother, silver lining, traditions | 4 Comments
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“Don’t cry because it is over.  Smile because it happened.”  Dr. Seuss

Today would have been my mother-in-law’s birthday.

Last year at this time the whole family was celebrating her birthday at the beach.  This year is a very different story.  I do not believe that there are any rules in this area.  So, I have made up my own.  On Jake’s and Sawyer’s birthdays I light a candle.   I want to celebrate their birth and their life.

A few other ideas about celebrating a deceased loved one’s birthday are the following:

  • Write the person a letter
  • Visit the cemetery
  • Release balloons
  • Plant a tree in their honor
  • Make a donation in their name
  • Tell stories/look at pictures
  • Whatever brings you any comfort (no matter how slight it might be)

The world is a better place because Jake, Sawyer and my mother-in-law were in it.  Happy Birthday Shelley.


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  1. Lovely, loving ideas, Lanie. Think positive.

  2. TBHITW’s birthday is on July 7th. We (the kids and I) are hosting a BBQ in his honor on July 9th. We have invited about a hundred people; people who love him and us. Being a geologist my husband has a massive rock collection. These rocks are from all of our travels, as unique as he was. We are giving each loved one a rock as a birthday gift from TBHITW. A solid piece of evidence that he existed, that he lived and had passion for life.
    You are absolutely right, there are no rules; except one. “Do what makes you happy, celebrate the life” Cry not because they are gone, smile because they lived.


    ps. Happy Birthday Shelley.

  3. What a beautiful thought, and a beautiful picture. Perfect memories on a special day.

  4. Planting a tree is a lovely idea. So is contributing to a charity, especially if it could help fund something ongoing like a scholarship; we once helped fund an incubator at our city’s children’s zoo.

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