Birthdays – they can be hard to handle, especially in the beginning when the pain of the loss often covers our usual enjoyment of this special day. However, taking time to celebrate and honor how amazing our loved one was and what they meant to us can also be healing.
Remember that this time is specific to you; grief affects us all differently. Some like to visit and decorate graves, some throw parties, and for others, just a simple remembrance is perfect. If you feel like doing something, but just aren’t sure what, we’ve gathered a few ideas to help get you started.
1. Get together with close family and friends. Plan to do something fun like taking children fishing (or some other hobby) to teach them what their special person liked to do, or meet for dinner to honor them.
2. Plant something in their honor. Each year add new flowers to your garden or plant a new tree. Then every time you see that plant you can enjoy it and think of your loved one.
3. Donate your money or time. Another way to honor your loved one is to donate money or time to a charitable organization that they were inspired by or involved in. This can be a wonderful way to give back and to deal with grief on their birthday.
4. Visit their grave. This may sound like an obvious thing to do, but it is ok to take some quiet time for yourself to get away and honor the person you’ve lost at their gravesite.
5. Do nothing. The day will hit each of us differently, and you should do what’s best for you. For some people that means not changing their day or their routine, and that is perfectly fine, too. You have to be kind to yourself and let your heart heal in its own time.
Note that each of these ideas is very different from one another because there is no right or wrong way to go about this. We hope these ideas help you find a way that best honors your loved one and help you on your journey to healing after loss.