Forty-eight years ago today, my nephew, Michael, was born. I wasn’t in the family yet on the day of his birth, but when I first met him, he was still a very little boy, full of charm and charisma! He had big dimples and a ready smile!
As time went by, he, and his brothers and sisters grew up in the same town with my kids. They were close, and spent a lot of time with each other. They were cousins who loved to run, play, and have exciting adventures together. It’s such a blessing to be part of a big family!
On September 29th of this year, Michael unexpectedly passed away. Our whole, big family was brokenhearted! I wrote about his death and our grieving in earlier posts, dated October 1st, October 11th, and October 22nd. I wanted to commemorate his passing, to give comfort to our family, and to reach out to others who might be grieving for their own lost, loved ones.
The last post I wrote was to say that there is no one right way to grieve, and no right amount of time to grieve. Each person’s journey through grief is unique. We need to give ourselves permission to do it in our own way. Even though our whole family was still grieving, I thought I had written as much as I needed to write about Michael’s death.
The last few days, I’ve discovered I was wrong. I do need to write at least one more post. This post! Today is Michael’s birthday, and it has brought fresh waves of grief to all who loved him in life, and continue to love him in death.
Special days, like birthdays, anniversaries of memorable times, holidays, etc. can reactivate the grieving process. Even if you’re not consciously aware of why you’re feeling extra sad as those special days approach, they can impact you at an unconscious level.
When you’re feeling very tender and vulnerable, it’s important to think about what would give you comfort. Do you need to connect with other loved ones who are sharing your sadness? Do you need to go to a particular spot in nature to be alone with your thoughts and feelings, to connect to a deeper spiritual place inside you? Do you need to write a letter to the one you’ve lost, to pour out your feelings, to find some type of closure? There’s no right or wrong way to deal with your grief. Do what gives you comfort.
That’s what our family is doing today. Each, in his or her own way, is celebrating Michael’s life, and mourning his passing. He died much too young. He left too many behind to miss him. But he also left all of us forever changed by having had a chance to know and love him. Happy Birthday, Michael! You are so loved!
Until next time,