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How to Celebrate Your Dead Dad's Birthday

February 28, 2018

This year on my dad’s birthday, This is Us was airing...this episode happened to be Jack Pearson’s funeral…which reminded me of my own experience at my dad’s funeral when I was the Big Three's age. Maybe this is a weird coincidence...maybe it's really not at all. Either way, for the last few few weeks I have thought a lot about this...so here goes <3.

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When someone closes to you dies, a few years later it can feel like a pill you’ve been forced to swallow. You have already digested it, washed it down, and now it’s disappeared inside of what feels like only you…nothing more than a bitter aftertaste that was hard to swallow.

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Days like Christmas/Chanukah, New Years…or especially their birthday and anniversary of their death can feel particularly weird. I have found myself peaceful and reflective some years, deeply saddened other years, and still more other years I barely remember or am too busy to really feel much at all. One year I felt guilty as I had forgotten the date entirely. For me, it’s been enough years where people don’t exactly text me anymore to see how I’m doing…why would they? Why would anyone remember his birthday when hell, I barely do at this point.

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In the past I have gone for a hike, gone out out to a nice dinner, made his favorite dessert, flew home…etc. This year, I just did this. And that’s it. And that’s great. 

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1. Sit in Silence -- Oh and Cry...You'll Definitely Cry

I closed my eyes for ten minutes while sitting on the floor, and really felt his presence. I replayed a positive moment where I recalled him laughing and allowed that moment to fill me with memories…and yes lots of tears. I don't remember what he said. Just that he laughed. 

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2. Light Da Candle And Everyting is Alright 

I lit an all-natural soy (bc duh) candle by Grove collaborative that is chemical-free as I’m about that life. That’s it.  The scent was blood orange and part of me silently judged myself for choosing a blood flavor when honoring the deceased...but I swear it just happened and it just smelled good lol.)

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3. Wearing Something Fluffy AF

I’m oddly obsessed with fluffy clothes. I used to wear a robe so often that she was given a name and if you were around for this part of my life you will fondly remember Pam and be happy to know she is still alive and well. (Okay fine, I guess I shouldn’t personify inanimate objects as alive when writing about death so....my b y’all.) This year I sported my latest fluff-session, a moose/reindeer/idk-wtf-it-really-is robe I got for Xmas. Re: pic above. I wore it around my house and just owned the fluffy fabulous fierceness for hours upon hours. #ReppingForTheFluffLife

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3. Watching a Show and Letting It Go

These days it’s hard to find a time to spend an evening calmly watching something but on this day, I chose to do so. It happened to be Jack’s funeral…a little weird, right? I might write more how I feel about that at another time. But I took weird comfort that such popular show is willing to go there with death on screen. Dads die. People die. It really happens and it’s really cool to me that other kids might find comfort in watching this. Even though my dad and Jack died in very different ways, I like hearing the characters discuss their thoughts about his death as adults because that’s something I can relate to very much right now.

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To my Dad and to all the dead dads out there…you still rule wherever you are….happy birthday homies <3. #ThisIsLife #ThisIsMe #ThisIsUs

 

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