Celebrating Mom’s Birthday in Heaven Again

On Wednesday my Mom would have been 69. She was amazing and touched so many lives but never got to meet her grandchildren. Every year we have a birthday party for her and celebrate the fact that she lived!

When the girls got home from school that day, we picked out a cake and got some balloons. The girls get really excited about cake. (Wonder where they got that from?) They had made cards for her the day before.

After dinner we sang Happy Birthday and the girls blew out the candles for their Mimi.


Once half of the cake was gone, we went outside to send the balloons to heaven. This year we did things a little different. We have always attached the cards the girls made to the balloons, but that involves cutting most of the card off so the balloons will go up. I didn’t want to cut them up this time, so I kept the cards and we just sent her the balloons. I think she will be OK with that.

Since they never even met her, the girls love to ask questions about Mimi. While I can answer most of them, I am sorry to say I don’t recall her favorite kind of potato chip. It is important that Mom is real to them, so we talk about her and look at some pictures.

Right now, I know there are people reading this thinking, “I can’t have a birthday party and smile. The pain is too heavy.” It took me 10 years to be able to be happy on Mom’s birthday, and I still have plenty of sad moments. Whatever part of grieving you are in is real and shouldn’t be ignored. You wouldn’t feel this way if you didn’t love them as much as you do. That love, and even the grief, is a gift. I know it is so hard to see it that way, but it is. You were given that person for a shorter amount of time than you wanted, but you still had that time. You will always have them in your heart and your memories. One day you will be able to share that with others.

When we can get to a place of celebrating someone’s life, it doesn’t take away all the sadness. It doesn’t make us not miss them. What it does is see the good. It helps us focus on the fact that we had them in our lives for as long as we did. Not everyone gets that. I know I wouldn’t trade the 23 years I had with Mom for longer with anyone else. I am so happy she lived!

If you are ready to celebrate a life, I suggest eating cake. Cake makes just about anything better.

Linking with Holley Gerth


14 thoughts on “Celebrating Mom’s Birthday in Heaven Again

  1. Sarah, it makes me happy, for you and for the girls, to read this. I am glad you can celebrate and find joy in the memories of your mom. Like Lauren and Kaitlyn, I never got to know her, but I have heard many wonderful stories and I look forward to meeting her in heaven!

  2. Oh, I love that you do this, Sarah. We used to have annual birthday parties with my two living daughters for their sister Kali who died at birth. We don’t have to have spent time with someone in person before we can celebrate the fact that they were here, whether for a short period or a long time. One day we’ll all be together for an eternity!

  3. Hi Sarah,
    I think it is absolutely lovely that you celebrate your mom and relive memories with your daughters. How priceless that will be to them someday, even though they didn’t get the chance to know her. No one in my family ever talked about my grandmother and my dad was only 4 when she died and has no memory of her, so I always feel as if a big piece of who I am is missing because I love to trace family similarities and differences. And you’re showing your girls how to honor a life, miss her but still live joyfully. Beautiful! And I love the photos of your girls too! xo

    1. I can’t imagine not talking about my Mom or grandparents. They made such an impact on everyone around them and deserve to be honored. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  4. Sarah,
    This is so sweet, and such a beautiful way to honor your mom and the memories you have of her. My great-grandparents passed away long before I was born, but because everyone in my family talked about them with fond memories, I fell in love with them myself. I have a picture of them in my home, and when I took a solo trip to Paris a few years ago one of the things I knew I HAD to do was put flowers on their graves. The reason I tell you all of this is so you will know it’s possible for your daughters to love your mom, too.

  5. Sarah, thank you so much for sharing your heart with such open, honest, and transparent writing…it’s so true, when our parents are gone, we long for our children and grandchildren to have known them. One day after my Daddy went to be with Jesus, I had a dream of him walking toward me, young, smiling, arms open wide. When I woke up I remember an idea came to me, to have our family and friends write letters about their memories of Daddy, then I had the letters published in a book for our children and grandchildren. Many blessings to you!

    1. Wow! That is a great idea! My oldest had a dream about Mom and she was young and carefree. I always want to know what she saw. 🙂 Thanks for coming by, Beth!

  6. That is a beautiful way to celebrate your mom’s life and remember her and for your girls to be part of it too. Grief is not easy, but so true that it only exists because there is also love.

  7. Hi Sarah – what a sweet way to celebrate your Mom and share her with your girls. Your words resonated with me because in other ways I’ve experienced remembering hard things that remind me of the good that has come out of them. I love that you can treasure those memories even in spite of your grief.

    I’m relaunching my blog and I’d love to invite you to enjoy the celebration. So glad to visit you from #coffeeforyourheart today.

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