Birthdays can be one of the hardest days of the year after losing someone. You may be experiencing mixed feelings of joyful memories and grief – that’s normal. Your grieving process is unique to you. You can spend their birthday however you want.
If you would like to do something to remember your deceased loved one on their birthday but aren’t sure what to do, here are some ideas.
1. Light a Candle
Some people buy a cake and blow out candles on a deceased loved one’s birthday. You may not feel up to celebrating, though, and that’s OK. There aren’t any rules with grieving. You could simply burn a candle, such as our Shining Bright Birthday Candle that’s made just for this special day, and take a brief moment to remember your loved one.
2. Share a Memory Online
Something we tell our friends is that we don’t want them to feel alone in their grief. Sometimes talking about a special memory, even through comments with family and friends on a Facebook post, can help you feel a little less alone on their birthday.
3. Write Them a Letter
If the person who died was someone you confided in, you may feel lost not having them around to talk to. Writing them a letter could be therapeutic for you. You could share your thoughts and struggles with them or fill them in on what’s happening in your life. Or maybe you just need to say you love and miss them.
4. Enjoy a Shared Pastime
Did you and your loved one have something special you did together? Maybe on Sundays you’d grab a coffee or you were both fiercely competitive at board games. If you’re feeling up to it, you can set aside time on their birthday to do something you both enjoyed.
5. Donate in Their Memory
We love the idea of giving back to a community or cause your loved one was passionate about. We think it’s a wonderful way to honor someone if you’re financially able to make a monetary donation or if you can volunteer your time.
6. Send a Gift to Their Family
If you lost a friend and you’re still close with their family, you could continue your tradition of buying them a birthday present by sending a memorial birthday gift to their sibling or sending a heartfelt gift for a grieving mother. This simple act of kindness could help provide comfort and support through this season of loss and grief for you and their family.
Some people honor deceased loved ones on their birthday by throwing a party or doing something they loved doing. That doesn’t mean you have to, though. There aren’t any “shoulds” with grief. Grief is personal. You can do whatever you feel comfortable doing to remember your loved one on their birthday.