Thoughts...

…birthdays…

…. they come every year and often we don’t give them much thought.   

Then someone you love dies.   You bury them, you cry, you grieve….  and you get on with getting back to life.   When friends ask, you tell them that you’re “doing fine” and you really mean it.    You think that you’re getting through and over and past missing your loved one… until your helpful automated calendar assistant reminds you that your loved one has a birthday coming up… and you lose them a little bit, all over again.

It feels strangely heartless to delete a loved-one from your contacts list… but if you don’t, this is what happens:   Siri or Alexa or Hallmark or whomever keeps track of birthdays for you, pops up a week or so in advance, so that you’ll have time to buy a card and send it.

But your person won’t be there to receive it.

What do you do?

Do you delete them from your contacts list?    Or replace their birthday with a deathday?  

If you delete the birthday reminder the day will likely sneak up on you anyway… you’ll be happily moving through your day, when you’ll be swept up in a wave of melancholy as you suddenly remember what day it is.     Or worse, the day after… and then you feel the added mix of being the schmuck who didn’t even remember their birthday…

Maybe it’s better to see that birthday coming a week or two in advance, rather than having it sneak up on you… on the day.  

And do you really Need or Want a reminder of their deathday?   Probably not.     So maybe you just leave that alone….

It’s messy.

This week my calendar reminded me that my sister’s birthday is coming up.   This will be the first without her.   She died just as CoVid locked us all in our homes.   It was a strange way to lose someone… it was hard not to be allowed to Be There to say goodbye.   Once CoVid is gone, we’ll have a gathering to remember her… we’ll hug and cry and do those funereally  things.   

I hope we get to do that before her next “birthday” rolls around.  xoxoxox

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Catherine Mitchell

Grief Recovery Specialist,
Bereavement Facilitator,
NLP Master Practitioner

In Ki Health & Wellness
14 Garrard Road,
Whitby, Ontario L1N 3K3

Grief Recovery Ontario is owned and operated by Joy Works Seminars Inc.

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