Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, all of these things are a confusing mix of emotions after we have “lost” a dear one. Shayna’s 20th birthday was a day that brought a feeling of dread as it loomed larger and larger on the calendar. Starting last week, well-meaning parents in Helping Parents Heal began offering sympathetic messages to me. I couldn’t ignore the day. I knew that I would have to go through it.
I woke up yesterday morning with a download of information from Shayna, an idea for a podcast to explain to others what these birthdays are like. As much as my approach would be to make it a day like any other day to forget it was Shayna’s 20th, that’s not possible. I knew I would be getting messages from people all day long. I steeled myself to face the day and to try to simply endure it.
After I posted the video, the responses started coming in. People were sending me love and support. But, as nice as the messages of “Happy Birthday” to Shayna were, what was uplifting were the messages from people saying how much my sharing Shayna had helped them. I was overflowing with gratitude all day long for all of the support from my friends. And, in case you have lost touch with your family through your loss, I want to add this. All of this support came from people not related to me. None of it was from my family. As I was telling a client last week “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” The bonds that are forged in our bottles are the bonds that endure.
I couldn’t have been down if I had wanted to. I felt lifted up all day long. I knew Shayna would find a way to get a message to me. She did a trick on my phone (which I posted about yesterday). She also delivered a hand-written message through my friend Claudia.
In case you can’t read the note, it says:
Hi Shayna, How wonderful to be born in January 2000! I was hoping you might have a message for your Mom + Dad. Love, Claudia.
To my dear mother + father + sister.
I’m all over you. I mean I got this. You guys got a problem- I’m on it. You’re worried about something? I’ve already taken care of it. There’s nothing to worry about anymore.
Dad- what are you gonna do with all that extra time? LOL. You could probably rebuild the catacombs or something.
I do love you all- And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you love me.
There’s nothing I’d rather do today than share cake with you- chocolate this time!
There is so much joy here- and I am learning how to share it! Even with you sour pusses. 🙂
I do miss the eye rolls and the protests because “There goes Shayna again.” but that’s just sometimes you forget I’M RIGHT HERE.
I love you all and I’m so proud of you all. I point you out and I say “That’s my family.” and they are all impressed.
Behave yourselves and have fun- or I’ll spook you!!!
Happy Birthday to Me
Love you Bunches!
Tywana and I went out for pizza to our favorite pizza place. We came home, had some champagne (one we hadn’t had in nearly 20 years. Someone sent it to me a few months ago and I was waiting for an occasion to open it). We had tuxedo cake (chocolate). And, I watched the National Championship game.
Thank you to everyone who helped me more than endure the day. Thank you for making it a magical day. And, most especially, thank you to my baby, Shayna.