Birthdays after a loved one has died can be very difficult. Birthdays are another painful reminder of the things that are missing after someone dies, as well as a reminder of the years they didn’t get to live. Some people find comfort in continuing to celebrate their loved one who died on their birthday after the death.

There are many different ways to continue to celebrate and remember a loved one who died, each as unique as the person who died. For some, going to the cemetery or burial site is comforting, for others gathering with others and sharing memories is healing. Baking the person’s favorite cake, throwing a party in their memory, or doing something they would have loved are all other ways to celebrate the life of someone who has died.
However one chooses to celebrate their special person’s life, it can all be very healing and joyful even though you are grieving the loss of a very special person. Birthday celebrations and memorials after a death are often less about the birthday person and more about those that are grieving them and choosing to remember the life their special person lived.

Today would have been my dad’s 61st birthday and to celebrate him today I’m going to get myself one of his favorite treats, a Butterfinger Blizzard, and take time to reflect on the memories of fishing with him at the lake when I was a kid. If you have a loved one’s birthday coming up think about how you’d like to spend the day celebrating them.

In Memory of Douglas Malcolm Coney
June 1959 – September 2005

Author: Peyton Petty, Program Coordinator