You Say It’s Your Birthday

I’m a fan of birthdays.  Not just my birthday, but all birthdays.  I think they are fun and that everyone deserves a day to celebrate themselves.  I like cake and balloons and presents and fun.  Birthdays are my thing.

I especially like my own birthday.  I love to get excited about it, wear a crown (it’s Halloween, so I can get away with it), and pester people about what my presents are.  It’s fun.

Except…it’s not so fun anymore.  Since my dad died, I can’t get into my own birthday.  Last year was my first birthday without my dad, and since he was a huge fan of birthdays too, it made sense to me that I’d feel sad and miss him.  I thought this year would be better.  I was wrong.

When I think about my birthday, I immediately think about my dad.  I think about how he doesn’t get to have birthdays anymore.  I think about how I won’t get a goofy birthday phone call from him.  I think about how I’ll never get to talk to him again…and that makes me think about the last times I talked to him.  Those final few days when he didn’t even look like himself because his eyes were bulging and his skin was pulled tight across his skull.  And he couldn’t say anything back to me, but I would talk and he would just stare at me.  Could he hear me?  Did he know what I was saying?  Did he know who I was?  And then the tears come and the pain so deep in my chest that I’m sick to my stomach about it.

I thought this birthday would be better, but I just find myself missing my dad more than ever.  I know he would want me to have fun and be silly and talk about presents non-stop.  I know he wouldn’t want me to be sad…but I just can’t find the energy to celebrate my life without him in it.


  1. Erin, I am so very sorry and my heart breaks for you. Try to remember that you carry your dad with you everywhere, in your heart and memories. He will always be with you in that way, and will be there to celebrate with you. Sending you the biggest of hugs and a virtual cupcake. <3

  2. I can totally commiserate. My grandmother died the day after my 23rd birthday, and I haven’t enjoyed a birthday since. I was never a huge birthday person before, but I just don’t have the motivation to get even the least bit excited now. Usually I just get sad and resentful toward other people who make a big deal about their birthdays (which is lame and selfish, I know)

    I’m sorry that birthdays have become so tough. It’s so clear how much you love your dad, and I’m sure he would be giving you a gigantic hug if he could.

  3. aw erin i can’t even begin to imagine how you’re feeling and how hard it is to not have your dad with you on your birthday but i hope you still have a wonderful day. lots of love and hugs. xo

  4. I’m so sorry, Erin. That has to be so tough. <3

  5. I’m so sorry, Erin. I’m sending you a huge hug.
    Have you ever thought about having a way to include your dad in your family celebrations, or is too soon for you? It might be a way to share your memory of his love of birthdays with your girls.
    Your dad is always with you.

  6. I can’t imagine, but I can probably say this… I think your dad would want you to continue enjoying your birthday even if he’s not around anymore. If you do birthday candles, maybe add a special candle for him, or something special so he can still celebrate with you in a way.

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