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Mom's Birthday/Death Day 
Started by claudia c
02 Apr 2012, 3:17 PM

Mom’s birthday/death day

My mother died on this day her 94th birthday three years ago.  This is the poem I wrote that day.

Mom has just died.

How can that be?

Her birth day.

Her death day.

I do not need to mark today

The day you died.

It is your birthday.

It will always be your birthday.

Birth day

Death day.

The day you died.

It is your birthday.

I cannot celebrate

The day you died.

I mourn.

In time

I hope

I can celebrate.

Now, three years later I am able to celebrate her birthday and to remember all the joyful times we shared.  I’ve invited my brother and his wife to join my husband and I this evening in celebrating Mom. 

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Reply by Cath1
02 Apr 2012, 5:54 PM

Thank you Claudia for sharing with us your touching and heartrending poem about how you felt on the day your Mom died. How sad for you that your Mom died on her birthday. I understand the significance to you about the date of your Mom's death having fallen on her birthday. In my family we are big birthday celebrators and I think my reaction would have been exactly like yours.

In fact, on my Mom's birthday, her first after she died nine long months later, it was the day I completely collapsed and surrendered to my grief. I had at that point thought I had been coping very well, and while I expected that I would feel sad to face the milestone of her birthday without her, I was truly blindsided by the emotional hurricane that erupted within me!

I went with my daughter to my Mom's gravesite, and read aloud to my Mom a letter I had composed for her to honour her birthday, and as my daughter held me close, I read the letter while wailing at the top of my lungs. The letter was not very long, but it took me ages to complete it. I was inconsolable for some time, but I fully expressed my tumultuous feelings while my daughter and I sat in her car parked beside my Mom's grave as the rain poured, the thunder clapped and lightning bolted from the skies. I cried at least as long, as hard and as loud as the angry weather until it subsided and washed away with it my raging emotions. I was living my life up until that day in denial, like the proverbial calm before the storm.

Afterwards, in the days that followed I realized why I had such a strong reaction to my Mom's birthday that year. I was heartbroken over the loss of her life, the ending of future celebrations, the loneliness of missing her and seeing her smile and hearing her laugh. I realized then that we don't grieve only the person's death; we actually are grieving much more the possibilities of a future without them. I began then to realize that it is my Mom's life I am mourning, and not so much the very painful memories of the day she died.

I am virtually holding you close in my arms today as you face this birthday without your Mom. It is so wonderful that you are able to, three years later, celebrate her life! I don't know what to expect on my Mom's next birthday, as I try now not to anticipate too much, but I do hope I will be at the point that I will be able to do as you will today for your Mom, which is to celebrate my Mom’s life and the love she gave me all throughout hers, and I hope I will be past the point of focusing on the day her life ended as I know for certain her love for me never will.

Enjoy your Mom's celebration tonight with your husband, brother and his wife. Among the many things you will remember today about your Mom, please don't forget to also honour the fact that she raised you to be an amazingly kind-hearted, talented and sensitive daughter! You are helping me and I'm sure others so much by being such a magnificent and perceptive member of our Virtual Hospice community - thank you! Hugs to you, Claudia! xo


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