Many people tell us that one of the most difficult parts after losing a loved one is the “big days” that happen throughout the year. Holidays, anniversaries, birthdays – especially the birthday of the person who is no longer alive.
A day that should be filled with fun and celebration now signifies loss. The love one’s absence is magnified, as you think about what could have been if they were still with you.
Our staff here at Farenga Funeral Home has worked with countless Astoria families in the months and years following a death, and we have seen many who face a renewed sense of grief on a loved one’s birthday.
We know how important it is to keep a loved one’s memory alive, even years after their death. Upholding traditions and celebrating them as you have in the past can be a healing experience. Even though they aren’t physically here, their birthday can still honor their life. Here are a few unique ways to celebrate your loved one on their special day:
Host a Meal
View the day as an opportunity to share memories, tell stories, and offer comfort to each other. Gather together and enjoy your loved one’s favorite foods or visit their favorite restaurant. Celebrating their memory through a shared meal may become a new tradition.
Host a movie night and watch one of their favorite movies, complete with snacks they were known to love. If friend or family member enjoyed going to the movies, you could visit a theater to watch a new film.
Bake Their Favorite Cake
If your loved one had a favorite dessert they usually enjoyed on their birthday, baking can be a relaxing activity to celebrate them. Dedicating time to create something especially for them can provide you with comfort and warmth.
Have an Adventure
Choose a location or activity that you know they would enjoy. Whether it’s somewhere you went together or someplace on their bucket list, celebrating their special day with an adventure is a great way to remember them.
Plant a Tree
Planting a tree or flowers in your loved one’s honor can serve as a symbol of new life and hope. Whether you plant it in your yard or another special place, seeing it grow stronger will be rewarding, year after year. A tree can serve as a living legacy and reminder of them and planting it on their birthday makes it even more special.
You may want to go all out in the festivities, or you may not feel up to doing anything big. Grief does not operate on a timeline, and no matter how many years have passed, perhaps the idea of fun, celebration, and parties still doesn’t feel right on their birthday. Allow yourself to feel the sadness as it comes, but also leave space for joy and new memories.