Child Loss,  Honoring Your Child's Birthday,  Sibling Loss,  Stillbirth

Child Loss: Saying “Happy Birthday” When Our Child is Gone

Never in one million years did I think I’d ever be faced with the agony of how to celebrate my child’s birthday after his death.  Yet, it happened to me just as it happens to thousands of parents every year.  Yet, strangely enough, we don’t talk about how to do this.  Why?  Because truthfully, society seems to shun talk of death —  especially the death of child.  Add to that the fact that we want to honor our child’s “birthday” after death, and we often get stares from people like we’ve gone totally crazy.

Today, let’s push aside all thoughts about what others think.  I’m going to share some thoughts with you about how I celebrated my sister’s birthday (she died at age 13) as well as my son’s birthday (Samuel was born still).  Maybe this will help you feel less “odd” and more at ease with finding a way to honor and remember your child without feeling the pressure from others to simply let the day pass by as another day.

My sister Carmella died on June 5.  Her birthday is January 24th. The birthday before her death was so special.  She had been sick with pneumonia and was in the hospital.  Lots of people sent her cards, and a group from church and from the place where my dad worked collected money and put the money towards something she really wanted — some Barbie dolls and lots of Barbie outfits for her dolls.  My grandmother baked a cake from scratch (as she did for all of our birthdays) and the celebration was wonderful!

birthday cake 13When January 24th came around again (the first birthday after her death) my family was silent.  Nobody knew what to do.  This was new territory for us.  We had never walked this path before — never had we been in the shadow of death and we were scared.  And hurting.  And, so confused. We were dreading January 24th!

My grandmother, a very humble lady and so wise in her ways, never said a word.  She did something, though, that set the plan for us for years to come.

She baked Carmella’s birthday cake just as though she was still here with us.  I won’t be untruthful and say it was a good day because it wasn’t.  It was horrible.  My mother was paralyzed with grief.  She sobbed for hours on end and then drank until she passed out.  It’s the only way she could get through the day.  At that time we didn’t have books available to use about how to get through grief.  We didn’t have support groups.  And, sadly we were not encouraged to talk about death.  My mom was so alone in her pain!

One of our neighbors, Julie, made a big pot of homemade spaghetti sauce and delivered it to our door.  She remembered it was my sister’s birthday! How wonderful that was, and it is a gesture that we will never forget!

My dad was a man of very few words and by this time my mom and dad were divorced, so I don’t know what he did other than grieve by himself.  Our hearts were broken in a million different ways.

Being sixteen, I was not about to talk to my friends about this.  They wouldn’t have understood at all.  But, what I did was follow my heart.  I secretly took a piece of cake and some noodles and sauce (my sister’s favorite) and I went alone to the cemetery.  It was cold outside and I was sobbing.  Just the thought of visiting the cemetery alone made my stomach feel sick.  I thought I was going to throw up from a combination of nerves, sadness and fear.  But, I remember that day so well.

I sat on the ground and talked to my sister.  I cried as I told her how much I loved her and missed her.  I said, “Grandmom baked your cake.  It’s got lots of icing on it just how you like it.  And, Julie brought your favorite noodles and sauce.  I brought you some.”  I had written a birthday letter to my sister and as I sat the cake and small dish of pasta on the ground, I sobbed while reading the letter.  My tears flowed like a river.

HeadstoneIt was so important for me to recognize that day — to “do something” in honor of my sister.  It was awkward and felt weird, and it hurt so bad that I thought I was going to die.  By the time I left the cemetery my eyes were tiny slits from crying.  I drove the mile up the road to home, ran though the house, made it to my bedroom and sobbed for the rest of the night.

But, I did it.  I honored her day!  And, that felt good!

I have no special traditions that I keep each year for honoring Carmella and Samuel except one thing that I do religiously that is comforting to me and brings me great peace.

Every year I plant a few perennial bulbs in memory of each of them.  I plant them in the fall and wait all through the long winter in anticipation for spring to come when I can see them blooming.  To me, this represents the fact that love can never be broken — not even by death and life is eternal and goes on forever and ever and ever.

On each of their birthdays, I set aside time for crying.  I know that sounds a bit bizarre, but I already know that I’m going to cry so I plan for that, and it’s okay.  I remember.  I reminisce.  I think about the good moments that are now the memories that I cherish.  Sometimes I pull out pictures of Carmella.  (Sadly, I have none of Samuel — something I will regret all of the days of my life!)  And, I always, always light a candle and allow it to burn for a full 24 hours on their special day!


There is no right or wrong way to honor our child’s birthday after our child is gone.  We have to find what is right for “us” — create our own traditions.

Throughout the years, I’ve talked with thousands of parents of child loss and they have shared some amazing ways they have celebrated their child’s birthday — a day of remembrance.  They have made some new traditions, and I’d like to share with you just a few of those ideas.

I encourage every parent to do something — anything — on your child’s birthday.  As painful as it is, it will help you to know that you have set aside special time just for you and your child.

Here are a few ways that others have celebrated and honored their child’s life:

1)  Write a poem and read it at the cemetery.

2)  Visit the cemetery and decorate with balloons.

3)  Gather together some close friends and family members and have a balloon release.

4)  Have a birthday cake with your child’s name on it, and gather together with a few of your child’s best friends to share stories of your child — happy stories.  And, allow yourself to remember and smile through your tears.

5)  Release a lantern with your child’s name on it.  I just did this and it was so healing as I watched the lantern float peacefully through the evening sky!

6)  Set up a special place in your home with your child’s picture and a candle and burn that candle on your child’s birthday.

7)  Buy and wrap a gift and give it to a child who has been forgotten or is sick and in the hospital.   If you don’t know of such a child, check with your local ministers for help in finding a child who needs love.  Do this in honor of your child!

8)  Gather your family and/or some close friends together and create a memory box.  Decorate it and keep it in a special place where people who visit you can place a special memory of your child in the box each year on his/her birthday.

9) Have a butterfly release.  Invite friends of your child’s to participate.

10) Create a memory garden and each year on your child’s birthday add something new to the garden.

balloon releasememory gardenlantern releasebutterfly releaseI love you Mellie (Carmella) and Samuel — forever 13 and forever my baby boy! I will always remember you, always honor you, and always cherish the day that you were born!


Please feel free to share any ideas that you’ve used to honor your child’s birthday.

If this is a “first” for you, I strongly encourage you to do something.  As painful as it is, it will make you feel better when you have some kind of plans for your child’s birthday!  Use this day as a way of hugging your child, keeping your child close at heart, and letting others know that they are free to celebrate the specialness of your child with you!

Love and prayers,



  • Shirley Rossi Jelley

    This year was the 1st Birthday without my beloved Son David being here to celebrate, he would have been 26 and the way I coped was to Wish him Happy Birthday on my status, my birthday is 3 days before his and not receiving that 1 card hit me like a sledgehammer. I am still coming to terms with losing him and there are still so many tears. But I find by talking to other parents who have lost children does help me. So sorry for your losses xxx

    • Clara Hinton

      Shirley, I’m so very sorry. I think the first few birthdays are the very worst because the reality of everything hits us hard — as you expressed so well. I’m so glad that you wished your son David a happy birthday on your status.

      My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    • Pat

      I am so sorry to for all your losses. I am anticipating the celebration of my beautiful son Timothy’s first birthday in heaven. He will be 26 also. I am searching for a meaningful way to honor and celebrate him. I also had a stillborn daughter that I have secretly sobbed about for all these years and pray that she was there for her brother. I feel like I am being punished and don’t know why. Although I know I am not alone, I still have such trouble accepting it. I hope I can find the strength to honor him the way he deserves to be and celebrate him. I know people don’t understand why you feel the need to do this and think it just makes you sadder but I am learning to live a life where I can be sad and happy at the same time. I know that is how it will always be. A lot of these ideas are great and I had already ordered the lanterns, got some memorial bracelets made to give out. But have not organized any place and time and who I will reach out to. Especially difficult as I brought him home on Moms day and we often celebrated both events together so Moms day will also be difficult. I pray that God has a special plan in all of this sadness. Bless all of us ‘Angels’ Parents.

  • Tonya

    We invite friends who want to attend with no expectation to have dinner on one of Kenzi’s favorite resteraunts to have dinner. This year we chose Cheesecake Factory and the woman asked what we were celebrating and I told her it would have been my daughters 15th birthday. So at the end of the meal she brought me the pudding they serve for dessert with a candle and said she didn’t invite anyone to sing because she knew that would be inappropriate but because we said we were celebrating she felt that Kenzi should be honored with their birthday dessert! I was so moved!!
    We also celebrate her Heavenly birthday in this same way. We also decorate her grave and put out balloons then go back to clean up weeks later (or my mom does it for me. It is wonderful to have a good support group of people who love and miss your child with you. I have found that because we are unsure of how to act we sometimes don’t let people celebrate with us because we were afraid to let them see us cry and not having that worry makes life much better!

    • Clara Hinton

      Thank you so much for sharing this! I think that the people at Cheesecake Factory were wonderful in their gesture of love. It’s so good to be surrounded by love on such a difficult day.

      Thank God for caring family and friends!

  • Risa Craig

    Our first birthday without our daughter, Emily, we had a balloon & butterfly release. Her brothers played “Let it Be” on their guitars and there were over 100 family & friends at the cemetery with us. I was able to read, and we sang Happy Birthday! Her second birthday seemed harder! (her first was only 3 months after she passed, and I think we were still in shock) We had a small group of family come out in the morning for a balloon release, then a smaller group came back in the evening for a lantern release! I will ALWAYS do something to celebrate my daughters earthly birthday and her “Angel-versary” as we were blessed by her for almost 25yrs.

    • Clara Hinton

      Risa, Thank you so much for sharing what you’ve done. I think you hit the nail on the head by saying the second birthday seemed harder. I think it always it — for the reason you stated. The first year is a blur — we’re in such a fog that the full impact hasn’t hit yet. I love the fact that you will always do something to celebrate your daughter’s earthly birthday and her “Angel-versary.”

      Blessings to you!

  • Deb

    Our son Justin is forever 7. He was a twin so their birthday is especially hard. I always do a cake with both boys name and our family has made it a tradition to go to the cemetery. We each right a message on a balloon & send it up to Justin in heaven. His twin brother is now 25.

    • Clara Hinton

      Deb, I think it would be especially hard when one twin is missing — both for you and for Justin’s brother. I love the fact that you include both boys on the cake and you send a message on a balloon up to heaven. What a beautiful idea!!!

  • JoAnn

    I would never forget my son Anthony’s birthday it so important to me. What I do is light a special St Anthony candle and dedicate it to him , it makes me feel that he knows I am thinking about him extra on that day.

    • Clara Hinton

      JoAnn, You’ve mentioned something that is so important — it makes us feel better doing something on our child’s birthday. I understand that not all parents are in a place emotionally to do something (often for many years), but when they get to that place it always gives a small sense of peace.

      Blessings to you. I’m so very sorry for the loss of your Anthony.

  • Lynne

    Last year was Daniel’s first birthday ( he was born still). All year I had planned to have a party but when the time came I found I just wasn’t up to it so we just had a cake and sang Happy Birthday. This year on his 2nd birthday in 4 weeks time we are having an unveiling at the cemetery and a BBQ with those who have supported us over the last two years.

    • Clara Hinton

      Lynne, What a wonderful idea! I love the idea of the unveiling at the cemetery with a BBQ for those loyal, faithful supporters of yours. I’m so very, very sorry for the loss of your precious Daniel. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

  • Shirley Figge

    My daughter died six years ago at age 43. As she loved celebrating birthdays – her own as well as friends’ & families’, we get together as a family & celebrate on her birthday, March 6th!

    • Clara Hinton

      Shirley, I’m so very sorry for the loss of your daughter, but so happy that you’ve found a way to continue celebrating “her special day” — especially since she loved birthday celebrations. I think this is wonderful!

  • Gail

    Our 17-year-old son, Cameron, died on January 28, 2013. His birthday is March 24. We celebrated his birthday by inviting all of his friends and family to church on Sunday evening, March 24. Following a short sermon, one of the men of the congregation read several memories of Cameron that friends had submitted and we served a cake that was decorated in a way that everyone knew represented Cameron. There were approximately 140 people there to celebrate Cameron’s life. It was an emotional day for sure but made us feel good that so many people came to remember our son.

    • Clara Hinton

      Gail, What a lovely tribute to Cameron’s life! I cannot imagine how depleted you were at the end of this emotional day, BUT to have so many people come to celebrate Cameron’s life had to give you such a warm sense of love and support!

  • Samantha

    I take the day off work. I make no plans, no commitments. I spend the day honoring my son. Watching his movies, making or ordering his favorite foods, looking through pictures, or just doing whatever feels right that day. Sometimes that just means sitting on the couch crying.

    • Clara Hinton

      Samantha, You’re doing it the way it’s supposed to be done — whatever feels right for you! I love the idea of watching your son’s movies, eating his favorite foods and looking through pictures. I’m sure you’re depleted at the end of the day BUT it’s a day that you get to spend with your son — and honor him. I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  • Amanda

    Six days ago we celebrated Mace’s second birthday without him. This was the first birthday we have been through since his death. We had friends and family over, had refreshments and a few people were kind enough to bring food. We sang Happy Birthday, our other three children blew out the candles on the cake. We also held a balloon release. In place of buying Mace’s gifts, we bought each of our other children a gift. It was a nice day, a day I will never forget.

    • Clara Hinton

      Amanda, I’m so sorry for the loss of Mace. How beautiful that you were strong enough to plan a special time for his second birthday — and honor Mace and life. I’m especially thankful that this was a day of comfort for you. It really does help to “do something”, doesn’t it?

  • Kay Johnson Bumgardner

    Our 2nd daughter, Kelsey, died 16 yrs ago @ the age of 4 mos when our 1st daughter was 2 1/2 yrs old. Each year, we get a b’day cake & put a number candle on it for the age she would have been that year. Our other daughters blow out the candle after we sing Happy Birthday to Kelsey. Of course, then I go into my room to bawl. It’s always important tradition, especially for our other 2 daughters. One of the hardest parts for me is to pick out her cake (since she should be there picking out her own cake!) & then asking the lady to write on the cake “Happy –Birthday, Kelsey”.
    When our 3rd daughter was 3.5 yrs old, she asked if we could get a helium balloon & smear some cake & frosting on it, then let it go up to Heaven so Kelsey could have her birthday cake in Heaven on her 5th b’day. It amazed me that our youngest daughter came up with that idea. I also honor her birthday by posting it on my Facebook page.

    • Clara Hinton

      Kay, I’m so sorry for he loss of your sweet Kelsey. It doesn’t matter how many years it’s been, the ache is still there, isn’t it? What a precious idea your daughter came up with to smear some cake and frosting on the balloon and send it up to heaven for Kelsey. Young hearts have a lot of good ideas when we allow them to be part of our grief.

      My thoughts and prayers are with you!

  • Beverly

    We always have my daughter’s favorite Red Velvet cake for her birthday. No other time of the year. We take her a piece and leave it on the headstone. The first birthday was hard and some thought we were a little strange for having a cake for her and even singing happy birthday, but it was something we had to do.

  • jill

    My son and I share a birthday…. so not only will I be facing his birthday without him, but mine. I have some friends who have decided to throw “us” a party to celebrate HIS life…. (they asked me first if it was ok). so that is how we will be celebrating this hard first year without him.

    • Clara Hinton

      Patricia, I think we each have those “uniquely special days” that upset us the most. I think birthdays are so very hard because that was such a blessed day of celebration and now…..such a painful day of loss.

      My love to you. I’m so very sorry for the loss of your son.

  • Cindy R Atwood

    January the 12th, 2014 will be my sons birthday. My first without him. His name is Kodi. He would be 20 years old. The holidays and his birthday has been on mind so much. Don’t know how I’m going to get through them. I’ve been thinking about what I could do for his birthday. You have some lovely suggestions. I had thought about getting his friends together and do a balloon release. He was my only child. I lost one before we had him. It’s jus almost unbearable most days, as every parent knows. Thank you for your inspiring words every day! I look forward to reading your posts. I thought I was crazy before I started reading them. Thank you again. And God Bless you!

    • Clara Hinton

      Cindy, I’m so very sorry for the loss of Kodi. The build-up of anxiety as we face the holidays without our child is often horrendous. It really does help to have some kind of plan in mind and that’s why I wrote this particular blog article. I think it would be wonderful to get some of Kodi’s friends together and do a balloon release. You’ll find a bit of peace in doing that. It will feel special to do something for Kodi on his birthday.

      My love and prayers go out to you.

  • mia samora

    The 1st birthday after my son’s death, I held a memorial birthday party. The presents that were bought for my son, I donated to Children’s Hospital. I did that for the first couple of years. The first year, i gathered about 50 toys…last year was 569. This will be the 7th year without my beautiful boy, and I have set a goal of 1000 toys. His birthday is December 1st. He would have been 15 years old this year. I miss him every single minute, of every single day. This toy drive puts smiles on little faces, and it helps my heart to know it is all done in the name of my son. It somehow helps his name and legacy to live on. Good luck to all of you, I wish it got easier, but it really doesn’t; however, you will get very good at putting the public mask on.

    • Clara Hinton

      Mia, This is one of the most touching gifts of love and remembrance I’ve ever seen. How beautiful!!! Please let us know if you reached your goal of 1000 toys this year. I’m so very, very sorry for the loss of your son. It hurts more than words can express, but it helps ease the burden just a wee bit when we can see other children smile in memory of our child. God bless you!

  • grahamforeverinmyheart

    I just discovered your blog today. My son was killed 18 months ago. He would have been 25 on January 24, 2014 (the same birthday as your sister). We’ve experienced one birthday without him, it was horrible. My only plan for the next birthday is just to stay home from work that day. I do wish others would acknowledge his birthday.
    I’ve just added your blog to the website that I’ve been curating in memory of my son.
    The site is a collection of blogs, articles, videos and anything else I can find that might be helpful to bereaved parents and siblings.

  • Amanda

    I have no Traditions for my baby girl yet. I still have a hard time when it comes to her Birthday. It will be her 16th Birthday. She arrived Six-teen years ago and left us six-teen months later. It still feels like yesterday, when she left me. Never in my life, would I ever think about having to buy a tombstone, but my mom has been talking about it and I still cannot talk about her death with anyone. I’m having such a hard time still to this day, and it’s been 15 years ago this year.

    • Erin 'Mav's Momma' Hallock

      i am horribly sorry to hear ths, while i have absolutly no idea what ur heart feels, since all of our specifics are different. i can say this it hurts my hear everyday, n i believe that 16 years from now, i too will be as u are. i wish i had n easy answer for both of us……stay strong

  • Erin 'Mav's Momma' Hallock

    hi i ran into this blog and all of the ways you all have celebrated are inspirational to say the least. your all amazing and so strong.
    I lost my only son, Sir Maverick Alexander JAE tragically last March 2015, he was 7 mos old. When his first birthday rolled around 08/15 there was absolutly no way i was goin to be able to see clear of the frog my life had become in the previous months. We are now approaching his First ‘Angel-versary’, March 14, 2016. My boyfriend wants to celebrate his life and I think im ready.. Ive decided it should definetley be a celebration of life, in the form of a kids festival. At the park lots of games and activities for the kids that will be there, since after all the day is to celebrate a child. I actually found an image of mickey mouse ears (my son loooveeed mickey) with a halo and angel wings. So Ive based the ‘theme/colors’ around that versus a traditional ‘first mickey bday theme’ And have dubbed the day “Sir’s Saturday” Im hoping it catches pn and year after year we could continue it. Maybe a Spring Kids Fest on his Angel-versary, and then a Fall Festival for His Actual birthday, August. Anyway, i think ive rambled enuff, again thanks for your encouraging ideas

    • Clara Hinton

      What a beautiful way to celebrate the life of your son! I’m so very sorry for the tragic loss of your little boy, but so encouraged to hear of the way you will celebrate his life. I hope that this celebration of life will turn into an annual celebration, too! Please continue to share with us!

  • stephen

    Jack, passed away aged 9 this last November 21st 2015, today is his birthday and its been hard. I am still very numb. I feel that I have to be a swan, putting on this strong show to everyone covering my true feelings. I don’t know my left from my right. Jack was so strong and went though so much in his short life, he touched so many peoples lives in a positive way. I was feel so bad and mixed up right mow, I cant stop crying. I miss him so much.

    • Clara Hinton

      Stephen, I’m so, so sorry. Nine is such a tender age. Please remember that you don’t have to be a swan — you don’t have to stuff your feelings all of the time to cover up your pain. That’s especially true for today on Jack’s birthday. If you want to come back here and share more about Jack with us, please do. He sounds like he was amazing — and I’m sure that he was! I’m sending you a great big cyber hug right now. If I could I’d be sitting right next to you listening as you told me everything wonderful and special about Jack. My special thoughts and prayers are with you. Keeping reminding yourself that you will get through this day. Anniversaries and special dates are hard — so very, very hard. Please take care and please know you’re being thought about in a very special way!

  • Lisa

    Hello my name is Lisa. My son Brian was murdered on November4th 2016. His birthday is coming up next week june 3rd. He would of been 28. I miss him sooooo very much and love him just as much. Thanksgiving and Xmas was horriable. My mother in law from Australia came to visit right after thanksgiving for a week. It was so hard to enjoy her visit. Brian wanted to be cremated so i have his ashes sitting on my fireplace mantel. I talk to him every day. His last pic i took of him is on the front of my phone. He was one of a kind. He would do without so someone else could have. On his bday i will be doing a balloon release and a cake. Each person will get a chance to say something about him.I never even got a chance to say goodbye but i know deep down in my heart heis watching over me and my mom. Everytime i go on a long car ride there always seems to be a bird flying above the carand for one split second i can smile and say hi brian im ok!!!! Mommy loves u!!!! Rip baby boy!!!!

    • Clara Hinton

      Lisa, I’m so very, very sorry about Brian. My heart aches for you. I hope that when you celebrate Brian’s life, your balloon release has will be a freeing experience — allowing you to release some of the deep grief you are holding within you. I think that is so wonderful about the bird flying above the car. Whenever I eat an ice cream cone, I always go to the same place for some quiet meditation and a little sparrow comes up and sits next to me. It’s happened so many times now that I no longer think it’s coincidence. I know it’s a message being sent by Mike! Special thoughts are being sent your way. I hope and pray things go well for Brian’s birthday!

    • Pat

      Truly the most difficult pain a parent will endure is to lose our children. Having lost my beautiful son Timothy last October has changed my life dramatically and I am no longer the same person. I long for his life back. When his birthday came in May I did not know what to do. Although I had prepared by purchasing memorial bracelets and chinese lanterns, and made cupcakes I did not do well with planning it. My husband and I took the day off as we knew we could not function but the day was very touching as some family members and friends reached out, some also had taken the day off. We ended up going for a ride to the lake where we have so many cherished memories with our son. But when we got home some of his friends and a dear friend of mine that also lost her son, came over with a cake and some food, so we all sang happy birthday to Timothy while we watched our memorial lanterns go up in the sky. Wish I had planned it better to include others that wanted to be there, but sometimes I cant think about the next minute never mind plan anything. I would like to do something meaningful/ charitable in the future and hoping I get the strength to do so.
      So sorry for you loss, only we know how difficult it is to endure. I just keep trying to be sure he is remembered always.

  • Lisa Hadson

    Thank you for writing this. My eldest daughter Zara passed away 3 months ago, aged 17. Though her birthday is still a few months away, I am already struggling thinking of it. Her friends have asked if they can help me organise a party for her if I want one, as it will be her 18th birthday. My first thought was no, no party. In my mind all I could think was how could I have an 18th cake that she will never cut or eat, the signed key she would never get to read? How could we celebrate when it hurts so much that she is no longer with us. But reading this has helped me try try to think of it differently. I’m not sure yet what we will plan, but we will honour and celebrate that wonderful day she was born. Xx

    • Clara Hinton

      Lisa, I’m so very sorry for the loss of your daughter, Zara. I’m convinced that child loss is the most difficult pain anyone will ever have to bear. That being said, I’m so very glad that you’ve decided to celebrate your daughter’s life. I’ll tell you in advance that it will not be easy, but….it will be very healing to you, your family, and Zara’s friends. I hope you are able to plan something that is very meaningful to all who attend the celebration of Zara’s birth!

  • Heather Bushnoe

    Just wanted to comment and say I am sorry for each of your loss, I can relate. My daughter Grace Lynne was born July 29,2014 and passed away in my arms five minutes after being born. Two days until her “birth” day. Last year, we let go sky lanterns. I’m trying to think of something to do.. Like floating something down the river which runs behind my house. Any ideas? If I don’t do something “GREAT” I won’t be able to live with myself.. I will feel as though I have let her down

    • Clara Hinton

      Heather, I love the idea you used of sky lanterns. I did that for my son Samuel and that night we lit up the sky. It was both sad and also made my heart happy knowing that those lanterns were going UP to float away with Samuel. I hope that you found something really symbolic to do for Grace Lynne this year. Please share what you finally decided to do. Love, Clara

  • Melanie

    My nine year old daughter passed away unexpectedly January 2016. Her 10th birthday is 2 days, August 25th. I’m an emotional wreck. This by far is the worst “first” without her, although I know Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas will be just as hard, along with the anniversary of her death. She would be so happy about finally turning “double digits”. Thank you for providing wonderful ideas to celebrate her. I’m off from work that day, as is my husband. Our older two kids are off at school, so I suggested that they do a balloon release to honor Brooklyn’s day. Her cheer team is having cupcakes. My husband, son and myself will hopefully do something special as well. I can only hope she knows how very much she is loved and missed.

    • Clara Hinton

      Melanie, First of all I want to say how terribly sorry I am for the loss of your precious Brooklyn. I’ve found that any holiday is especially hard without our child, but their birthday is especially difficult. I’m so glad that you found some of this information helpful to you. A balloon release is something that holds so much symbolism…..I pray you will find that to be healing for you. I also love the idea of her cheer team having cupcakes. By doing something to honor your daughter’s birthday, you will find that this day will go so much better for you. It’s when we have no plan at all that our minds go totally wild in our thinking. I’m holding you close in thought and prayer as you experience this difficult first. Love to you.

  • Star Jacobs

    Hi my name is Star. September 6 will be my son Gideon first birthday since getting his angle wings. He died earlier this year at 3 years and 4 months old. I’m having an extremely difficult time dealing with this. I know I want to do something for his birthday I just don’t know what. But after reading this I’ve come up with some ideas. Thanks so much