After a friend or loved one passes, it is normal to still want to honor them on their birthday or other special occasions that remind you of them. Keeping birthday traditions going is a helpful part of the grief process for some. Having their favorite cake or birthday dessert, going to their favorite restaurant for dinner or even having a small dinner with friends to remember them on their birthday are all ways you can celebrate them. We’ve listed some other ideas below.
- Visit a place that reminds you of them, or one of their favorite places.
- Go to a park or somewhere quiet to think and reflect.
- Watch their favorite movie or show.
- Light a candle in memory of them and take time to sit and think about some favorite memories of them.
- Get together with friends and family and have a celebration to honor them.
- Donate to a cause that was important to them as a birthday gift to them.
- Make a memory jar and ask friends and loved ones to write down a memory to read the next year on their birthday.
- Post on their social media sites.
- Write a letter to them. You can put it away and read it the next year and maybe even choose to write one again the next year.
- Buy flowers to remind you of them through the week.
You may find that your feelings or what you’re emotionally able to handle changes from year to year. Different life events, like a new job, a baby or a marriage, may bring feelings of grief when you wish they could be there with you to experience those things with you. This is completely normal. Only do what you are capable of doing and don’t try to push yourself too hard. The grieving process is just that, a process. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself the time and space to heal. Let yourself experience moments of joy and know they would have wanted you to be happy.