Another Kind of Birthday

When I opened Facebook tonight, I saw that it’s the birthday of a man I went to high school with, one of the first of my peers, in adulthood, to die from cancer–way, way, way too young. So I’m thinking about his wife tonight. I never met her, but if you’re from my hometown you probably know who I’m talking about. Thinking of her prompted me to share this post from one of my favorite writers about grief, Megan Devine.


You were here. I loved you. I love you still.


My birthday was earlier this week and I am here to say there is hope. For the first time since Adam’s death I felt lighthearted and happy on my birthday. I wore a favorite dress to work. Had two nights out to dinner, one with familiy and one with friends.

This year has brought so much transition, so much change. I got my first real job in 20-some years. I am selling our family home and moving to a townhouse that I really like in a beautiful community. The most important thing about that, to me, is that the community maintains the outside of everything! I’m so sick of fighting with my yard. Sadly we lost our oldest cat, Zoe, last week, but she had lived a long and good life, and at 17 was ready to go.

While Adam was sick I learned to live day by day, and sometimes, moment by moment. We never knew what might happen so we just quit expecting particular outcomes and didn’t make any but the most necessary plans. Pop culture is calling this lifestyle “mindfulness,” or “living in the moment.” It has brought a mental freedom that I never expected.

Because I’m living in the moment these days, I get less stressed about the enormity of moving, or the fact that I have so much to learn to do my job well. Figuritively, I just put my head down and bulldoze my way forward, one task at a time.

I recommend this.

Thoughts and blessings to all of you who are still struggling through early grief. It is paralyzing at worst and exhausting at best. Love yourself and be mindful, and put your head down when you have to move forward.