Birthdays have typically been something I’ve looked forward to and enjoy. My 30th was particularly amazing since my first baby girl was born that day. I always say it was a good distraction from turning 30. Birthdays are school holidays for us as homeschoolers. The kids enjoy getting to have their birthday off of school. Today is Willow’s and my birthday, so we’re enjoying our school holiday. Well, Willow is at least. 3 years ago is when I realized that I don’t really enjoy birthdays anymore. Instead it’s a reminder of loss.
In June of 2015 my world came crashing down when my mom suddenly passed away. She passed away in her sleep. She had just watched my older two the morning before when I had a doctor’s appointment for my pregnancy with our third baby. It was completely unexpected. I could barely sleep for months after, let alone do anything but the minimum requirement of taking care of my little ones. My 33rd birthday was my first birthday without my mom. It had been almost a year since I had lost her, but it hit hard that day. I did my best to focus on Willow and helping her to have a good birthday. All I wanted to do was stay in bed and wait for the day to pass by. My hubby did his best to make it special and support me. I just couldn’t shake the sadness. The sudden grief coming back full force.
My 34th birthday was a little easier. Possibly because the distraction of spending it at our local Renaissance Faire that we go to each year as my birthday gift. It still hit he at times throughout the day. My wonderful husband is amazing and just holds me when those waves hit.
My 35th was a bit easier still, although it made me think of how my mom would never meet the little one that was growing in my belly.
At the end of April last year, I watched as my Daddy took his last breath. In some ways his death was easier since I got to spend his last weeks with him and had a chance to say goodbye. However, it’s never easy to lose someone you love. I still miss him terribly and some days are really difficult. Today is one of those days.
At 36 years old I’m spending my first birthday without my mom or dad. The sadness is overwhelming. I never thought birthdays would be something hard to get through. I have known some that didn’t celebrate their birthdays at all as it was just a reminder of the grief of losses they’d faced, but I couldn’t fathom it. Not until I experienced it myself. I’m thankful to have had another year. I pray I get more years to watch my little ones grow and spend time with my loved ones. But, just for today, I will allow myself to feel this grief and think of the parents I love dearly that I sorely miss and maybe we can celebrate tomorrow.