My Mom’s Birthday Party Wasn’t For Her This Year — It Was For Us

(This post was written on January 24, 2021.)

Today is my mom’s birthday. It’s the first one since she died. She would have been 73 today.

We had a little birthday party for her yesterday with party hats and horns and a carrot cake, which was my mom’s favorite. It was a nice day, but I was well aware that something, or someone, was missing.

I said as much to my husband this morning. “I had a nice time yesterday, but it didn’t feel like it was a party for my mom.”

He didn’t sugarcoat it or try to make it better. He just simply said, “It probably never will again.”

He was right. Nothing will ever feel the same again. We will always celebrate her birthday and we will always find a way to honor her, but it will never be the same without her here.

As I thought about it more, I realized something. The party we had yesterday was for my mom’s birthday, but it wasn’t really for her.

It was for us.

And I think that’s okay.

In our grief, we will continue to do things for her that will really be for us and that’s okay. We can find a way to honor my mom and our grief at the same time. That’s how we will continue to grow and heal in her absence.

We will always miss her on her birthday and every other day of the year. We will miss her on the special days and special occasions. We will miss her even more in the ordinary moments and on the ordinary days.

But we will press on and move forward because the best thing we can do to honor my mom is to continue to live our own lives. To dedicate each day and every moment to her legacy. To take each step and every breath in remembrance of the love she poured into us.

So whether it’s for her or for us or for the carrot cake, it doesn’t really matter. It will never be the same without her, but it can’t hurt to try.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

We love you and miss you so much, but we will always take care of each other. And we will always have carrot cake in honor of you!

My mom’s birthday party wasn’t for her this year — it was for us.

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