Ideas for Memorial Birthdays
After a loved one has passed on, watching their birthday come and go every year after can be particularly difficult. Memorializing the birthday of a deceased love one is a wonderful way to keep that person as a permanent part of your life.
Alone, or with friends and family, you can celebrate your loved one’s life and all he meant to you through laughter and tears on his birthday.
Have a Memorial Party
Birthdays are a special occasion because they commemorate the day someone dear to us was born. That doesn’t have to stop just because they are dead. Throw a memorial birthday party in your loved one’s honor.
Whether she enjoyed a fun, casual barbecue full of laughter and sunlight, or a quite, elegant dinner among friends, send out the invitations and invite her friends and relatives. Share her stories, pass them on to the next generation, and toast to her memory.
Go Out and Celebrate
Think of something that you and your loved one like to do together, such as ice skating, hiking, catching a movie or spending a night out on the town. Go out and do it, remembering your favorite times you and your loved one shared together.
You can do this alone, or bring a friend or family member with you and tell them the stories you recall fondly.
Visit the Grave
Take an annual pilgrimage to your loved one’s grave every year on his birthday. Bring a dust brush or small broom and brush off his grave. Replace the old flowers in the vase, or plant some new ones in the ground.
Sit for a while, talk to him and tell him how you feel. Wish him a happy birthday. He just might hear you, and even if you don’t believe he does, you will hear yourself say it and it will make you feel better.
Make a Donation
Do something nice for someone else in memory of your loved one. Make a donation to her favorite charity, organization or place.
If she loved going to the zoo, sponsor her favorite animal with annual donations. If she was a hard-working single mom who put herself through college, arrange a small annual scholarship to be awarded to another young single mother.
Plant a Tree
Life is a great cycle, so planting a tree on the birthday of your loved one is a beautiful way to memorialize his life, be it a one-time gesture or an annual event.
Each tree planted in his name will continue to grow and give to the community, contributing things like fresh air, beauty, shade and shelter for wild life.
Say a Prayer
Go to your loved one’s church and remind the clergy that his birthday is coming. Ask that he be remembered during a service, or gather with old friends in the congregation for a short prayer. If you prefer, stay home and light a candle and hold a moment of silence instead.
Bake a Cake
You don’t have to do anything elaborate to remember a loved one on her birthday. One simple way to celebrate her birthday is to bake a small cake. Write her name on it with frosting and enjoy it after dinner, thinking about her and all that she meant to you.
Making this an annual event will give you some private time to remember her on her special day in your own way every year.