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How do you celebrate a loved one's birthday after they have passed away?

My brother died tragically in September 2008. I have a 7 year old nephew who understands he is gone but still talks to him and believes that he is still here with us even though we can not see him.

Well tomorrow, March 9th, is my brother's birthday. He would have been 24. We want to celebrate in some way for my nephew but it will be a hard day for the rest of us. We were thinking about getting a cake and going to the cemetery to sing happy birthday. I know my nephew would love it but it will be hard for the rest of us and I know trying to sing happy birthday will bring us all to tears.

My question is how do you celebrate their birthday without them? How do you accommodate your feelings while trying to help younger ones feel comfortable.

My nephew understands death and he has seen us cry and has cried himself..We just want to make sure my brother stays fresh in his memories..


Asked by imamommmmyyy at 11:42 PM on Mar. 8, 2010 in General Parenting

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This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • my grandpa died 3 years ago. ever since he died, every year on his birthday, we still do the same thing we always did. we go to one of his children, my aunts house, or down to his favorite park and we eat food, have cake, & sing him happy birthday. we always bring pictures of him too. of course you may cry a little bit, but its good to let a cry out - and start realizing that yes, it was tragedy that he died - but is that really how you want to remember him? No. Celebrate his life. I know its easier said then done, but try try try to celebrate his life more often then you mourn his death. just remember, he will be there celebrating with you wether you can see him or not.

    Answer by PURPULbutterfly at 11:51 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • My moms birthday is the 28th. We will be going to her favorite restaurant ...that's about as far as i've gotten with the plans. I'm at a loss for anything else.

    sorry to hear about your brother.

    Answer by outstandingLove at 11:44 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • My sister's stepson lost his baby when he was 7 months old. Each year on his birthday the family gathers at the cemetery and write him messages of love and tie them to balloons and release them. It is sweet and lets them all send their messages to heaven.

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 11:47 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • I lost my daughter when she was 7 March 2, 2005.
    We go out to the cemetary with balloons and notes to her tied to them and send them to heaven.

    Answer by rochellecole at 11:51 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • My mother died when I was 12 and that first year we made a cake, and everyone took turns sharing our favorite memory of her, things she did for us, funny things she did / said, etc. It helped me a lot having everyone come together and remember the happy times instead of grieving about the end. It's really hard but it was nice because we reflected on her life and the impact she made on us, plus we shared laughter over the funny stories.

    Answer by BubbysHeart at 11:53 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • A friend of mine does a yearly balloon release for her deceased Husband. It helps her daughters with the loss, and it's such a nice memorial to him.
    We don't celebrate my parents birthdays, and I don't have any traditions on the anniversary of their deaths.. It's something I do on my own.. If it works for you then do the cake thing, but for me it wouldn't feel right..

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 11:54 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • I don't celebrate loved one who passed away birthday's, once they are gone there are no more birthdays, I don't pick a date to remember them they are always on my mind and heart and what I got are memories to keep them there. No need to reopen a gash to keep the memory alive.

    Answer by older at 7:22 AM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • I think you're idea of going to the cemetery and singing is a good one.
    With loved ones that have passed away in our family, I've always just think about them a little more on that day and say a silent happy birthday.
    WIthin the first couple years though..we would usually talk about our memories we each had with that person, but nothing special was ever planned.

    Answer by kimberlyinberea at 11:12 AM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • My brother died 16 years ago of SIDS, when he was 3 months old. Every year we go to the cemetery with happy birthday balloons and just say happy birthday. We bring flowers and little things for him grave. Anything really seems fine. It really just depends on what you and your family are up for.

    Answer by Sophie4910 at 4:07 PM on Mar. 9, 2010