Celebrating Mom’s Birthday in Heaven

Sunday my Mom would have been 67. Until a few years ago, I would mourn the day she went to heaven 12 years ago in August. Each year I wouldn’t really think about her birthday, at least not without sorrow. Three years ago a wise person suggested we celebrate that she lived.That opened my eyes! It isn’t that I miss her any less, but now I take the opportunity to be happy she lived, on the day she came into this world.

So we started buying a birthday cake, which thrilled my girls. They were at ages of starting to understand that I had a Mom that they never got to meet. Sometimes they are sad and ask me questions about her. Honestly, it makes me sad too, but seeing how excited they are to have a birthday party for her makes it easier. Here is this year’s cake:


Last year we started another tradition. The girls make her birthday cards. Yes, my 6 year old told her Mimi she “licks” her. She obviously did this on her own. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Then we send the cards up to heaven with balloons. There is something special about watching those balloons rise, even though I know they won’t actually get to heaven.


Now that we have a birthday party for Mom, I see that August date differently. I don’t have to mourn and cry. I am more excited that she lived and was my Mom instead of somebody else’s. I have always known I will see her again one day, but now it is because of her that we have discussions about what it will be like. (We are convinced there is Chick-Fil-A in heaven!)

Looking at and choosing to focus on the happy makes the sad more tolerable. We all have choices to make in our view. When we lose someone we love, we can continue to mourn or be glad for the time we had. I think society tells us to stay in mourning forever, but that isn’t how God wants us to live! Psalm 30:5 has been a great comfort to me, “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Everyone’s grief has a different time table, but God wants us to have joy again. He doesn’t want us stuck in the past but moving to the future.

If you are in a place of mourning someone you love, take heart. God doesn’t want it to last forever. You may be in the night, but He will bring you to the joy of the morning.

Maybe cake is just what you need!

Linking with Holley at her Coffee For Your Heart!

32 thoughts on “Celebrating Mom’s Birthday in Heaven

  1. Sarah, Your Mom was a wonderful mother and wife. She was a friend to so many who learned how to love God by her words and example. The fact that you are celebrating her on her birthday really honors Vicki. Even though she lived in pain most of her life, she was happy and cheerful all the time. You are teaching Lauren and Kaitlyn how to deal with loss in a positive way. I am proud of you and love you.

    1. Thank you! Having a party for her birthday really did flip a switch for us. I know I will always have sad days but being happy she lived helps me.
      I love you and am so glad you are my Dad!

  2. Dear Sarah … this is stunning and so moving on many levels. You’ve captured something deep and true in this offering. As we walk through my own mom’s illness, this has touched a deep chord. I think I want to cry.

    But I also want to thank God for you. And your family. Then. And now.

    1. Linda, reading your words here make ME want to cry.

      One thing I know is you are doing the right thing by spending as much with your mom as possible. You are cherishing that time and have many memories. Keep it up and keep smiling with the family God gave you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hi Sarah- I love this- We do the very same thing for the baby we lost- His birthday, is coming up soon too. Thank you for the encouragement that this is a good tradition to keep.

  4. Sarah, I love the tradition of celebrating you Mom’s birthday with balloons, cards, and cake…and this great quote… “Everyoneโ€™s grief has a different time table, but God wants us to have joy again. He doesnโ€™t want us stuck in the past but moving to the future”…amen!

  5. Wow, this was so joyful and inspiring. I am touched to the heart. What a lovely idea. My daughter never got to meet her grandpa. I think we need to something similar next year on his birthday. Thanks for sharing this!

  6. Thank you for sharing this. My mother-in-law is in hospice right now with brain cancer. As we make the final preparations I can’t help but be overcome by both sorrow and excitement. Excitement for her, sorrow for my family and myself. She has lived an amazing God glorifying life.This was just what I needed to read today!

    1. I am sorry about your mother in law but glad you have the right perspective. I love that God led you here and knew what you needed to read.
      I pray you can spend this time with her and keep peace in your heart!

  7. What a great idea and beautiful, joyful post Sarah! Perfectly timed too! We are a few weeks away from the anniversary of my sister’s call to heaven and this post touched my heart in all the right places. Thank you for the encouragement and reminder that God will bring joy in the morning. Even as I experience the darkest nights of grief. God bless you!

  8. Sarah – I love your hope. It is the gift that we all have because we are in Him, Who is Hope. But so often we bumble along in darkness, bumping into stumbling blocks that could be rocks for us to cling to…if we’d just open our eyes. I read this post today because you visited my blog. Yesterday I prayed a silly blogger’s prayer – Lord please encourage me in my writing. If I am meant to do this, give me hope, show me that SOMEONE is reading. Today I saw your comment! I went to your blog, scrolled down, and saw this post. I think today is your mom’s birthday? Happy Birthday to someone who must have been a light to you – so that you share her light (and her lighted candles) with your dear family, and with the rest of us, through your words. ๐Ÿ™‚ You honor her legacy, with your hope!

    1. Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement! Writing can be very solitary and leave you wondering. We just need to remember that we are making a difference, but sometimes we just can’t see it. My Mom would love to know she still has an effect on people who don’t know her. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Keep writing!

  9. Happened upon your post by accident. I’m so glad you’ve found a way to celebrate her life! Grief and mourning are important but sorrow shouldn’t trump joy. My mom died 31 years ago (when I was a teen) and God is slowly but surely teaching me to live victoriously and to encourage others.

    Thank you for sharing this.
    Blessings & Happy New Year!

    1. It definitely takes time to get to a place of peace, and I think there will always be days of sadness. 31 years is a long time, but I am so glad you are helping others. Keep it up and know how much your story matters!

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