Not surprisingly, throughout the year after losing your husband, there are days filled with tears, tenderness, and pain outside of the actual day of his death. There is no way that dates like your wedding anniversary or his birthday will go unnoticed by you. The question then becomes what do you do on these days?
Is it wrong to want to celebrate the birth of a life that has come to an end on earth?
Am I stuck in grief if memories filled with emotion capture my attention as I think of the day we said I do?
Remembering is okay
Remembering his birthday is always okay although no longer “happy” as it once was.
His birthday is worth celebrating! If your man was never born, your life would be different and the family you have now would never have been. Over time, the need to make this a recognized date on your calendar may fade; however, most likely you will always quietly remember.
7 ideas to celebrate and remember on his birthday:
- Call or send a card to his mom—she will never forget every detail of this special day and most likely remembers it the most! Give her the gift of reliving the moments of his life.
- Invite friends over and tell stories of him.
- Do something he liked to do: For the first two years one widow organized a soccer game and played to the point of exhaustion. It was helpful to do something physical to release the emotions of built up grief.
- Prepare his favorite meal or dessert as a quiet and simple way of honoring him.
- Go out to eat at his favorite restaurant. This new tradition can bring some happy into the sad.
- Share with your children how glad you are their daddy was born.
- Spend a few minutes thanking God for the gift of the one you loved while once again surrendering the days of their life back to Him.
Of course, you may not feel up to another day on the calendar to remember in a special way, which can be emotionally exhausting in itself. So, give yourself permission to release the celebration of this day. Now that your husband is gone, it really is up to you to decide how much attention to assign to these significant days. If you release the celebration, release the guilt as well. You don’t have to do anything unless it is life-giving and brings joy or healing.