Happy Birthday

How do you celebrate a birthday when the celebrant is no longer Here?  Though time has ceased to tock forward for him – my brother will stay 51 for as long as I am alive – it still feels right to honor the day that he came into the world.  His passing does not lessen his impact on my life.  New memories will not be made, but the old provide comfort and smiles and tears.  Happy birthday, Charles.

53 thoughts on “Happy Birthday

  1. Fran

    I hope you find peace and comfort on this day. The first time my Mom’s birthday came after she died, I bought her favorite candy and ate it with my sister and brother-in-law. I think she would have wanted us to enjoy it–both on her behalf and for ourselves.

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  2. eager urbanist

    On my Mom’s birthday in the first year after she died, I bought her favorite candy and ate it with my sister and brother-in-law. I had so many memories of begging for “just one more” of those dark chocolate-covered orange peels whenever my Mom received them as a holiday gift. So, the thought of willingly sharing them with my sister that day brought a smile to my face.

    I hope you find peace and comfort today, and something connected to your brother that makes you smile.

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  3. Isobel Morrell

    Say a special prayer for him, which includes wishing him Happy Birthday, Annie: then, if he were my brother, I’d have a special Mass said for him (Intenion), and then drink a special toast to him! That should cover it! Love Isbel

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  4. narf77

    We planted a tree for mum when she died and whenever an aniversary comes along, I take her a little bunch of flowers and have a chat with her. We learn about how precious life is when we lose someone incredibly close to us and their loss is our reminder to live our lives to the fullest. It slowly gets easier Annie…slowly but surely and one day you will be able to keep your brother in your heart without all of the accompanying pain.

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    1. An Unrefined Vegan

      I love the idea of planting something – something that will grow and be ALIVE. We need to do that. My brother would love it, too, actually – he had a garden and many fruit trees of which he was so proud. Thank you for the brilliant idea, my dear. And for your sweet words.

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      1. narf77

        A beautiful fruit tree would be an amazing idea Annie! It’s somewhere that you can go and sit next to (perhaps even under when it gets bigger with a nice bench seat?) and have a bit of a chat to your brother. Its a solid representation of them and it certainly helped me get my head around mums death. Glad I could give you a good idea, you give me SO many on your wonderful website…I owe you 🙂

  5. Lori

    I think that you should give yourself a special memory/ritual on his birthday each year. The birthday is such a positive reminder of when he was first given life. The anniversary of death will always be remembered, but it is more than likely to be a day of mourning. Celebrate the birth! (I still do this for my very close friend who died when we were 28. His birthday is an easier day for me to play through the memories than the day when he passed away. ) It is so hard and so fresh for you right now. But, over the years, I have noticed that it becomes a little easier to remember the laughter and the fun you had together and focus on the good times.

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    1. An Unrefined Vegan

      As usual, Lori, your advice is perfect. Although I’m feeling quite sad today, the sadness is tempered with good memories. In years past, we would be spending time together – usually on his birthday – with mom and dad down in Florida. We had some great trips.

      Kel and I will be drinking a beer (a cheap beer, as would be his way) in his honor.

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  6. inkspeare

    He is there with you, in essence and spirit, celebrating next to you, and happy that you cherish the good memories.

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  7. 40 Fit In The Mitt

    I absolutely still celebrate my brothers birthdays even though they are gone. I always light a candle and make a wish for them. One rule I have is to only focus on the good memories. Happy Birthday to your brother Charles.

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  8. Shira

    What a heart-breakingly beautiful post Annie! May you always celebrate the life and birthday of this most beautiful person in your life 🙂 Much love to you and your family XX

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  9. GiRRL_Earth

    My brother passed at the age of 50 on October 31, 2010. I never though to honor his birthday, which just passed on Jan 31; however, I always write a “in memory” post on the day he passed away. I like your idea of honoring someone on the day they entered the world, not parted with it.

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    1. An Unrefined Vegan

      Oh wow. I’m so sorry. It’s lovely that you write about him each year. I think that both occasions are worth pausing for – they have such separate but equally important meanings/feeling/memories.

      Reply

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