Birthdays and Grief

How are you supposed to handle birthdays and grief?  March 3 is the birthday of my best friend, Joy. She was just like her name – full of JOY and PASSION for life. Since she died, I have still tried to remember her birthday every year.  I am sure there are some people who think that is weird or morbid.  Personally I think it is healthy and honest.  She was my best friend for many years so remembering her just seems like the right thing to do.  I don’t dwell on the fact that she isn’t here anymore.  I don’t dwell on how and why she died.  I just focus on all the great memories we had together.

Joy LOVED the color PINK. If she was wearing pink Joy made sure that everything matched – her shoes, her purse, her jewelry, her nail polish… It upset her tremendously not to match. I remember going to a swimming pool with her and her entire ensemble was pink down to her flip flops. It always seemed appropriate to me that she loved pink – it just seemed the right color to go with her name. There are so many special memories like Joy’s love of pink that I have of her throughout the years.

  • How she made me laugh with her crazy blond jokes.
  • How she loved to host cookie parties at Christmas.
  • How she loved to shop.
  • How she loved Walmart.  It was our favorite place to go.  We could spend hours there just walking up and down the aisles looking for nothing in particular.
  • How she introduced me to country music.
  • How she loved to make crafts and sew.  She made a crib bedding set (in pink of course) for my youngest daughter when she was born.
  • How she listened to all my relationship drama when I am sure she must have been tired of hearing about it.
  • How she would call every Sunday morning.  In fact how we talked almost every day.
  • How she made everyone laugh and laugh until they cried.
  • How she mourned with me over our broken dreams and heartaches.
  • How she never judged me even when life got really bad.

The last Birthday I spent with Joy was her 50th Birthday party.  She was in her element.  Joyful (no pun intended) and so happy all her friends and family were around her on her special day.  She told me that she felt that day was the best day of her life.  She loved being reminded how much she meant to everyone. Don’t we all need that?  Being reminded that we mean something to someone else? Joy relished in it that day.

Joy, you meant everything to me.  Words can’t come close to describing the feeling. I think this framed saying I gave to her (and was able to keep after her death) may come close:

One of the greatest blessings in my life is our friendship.
When I need to talk, you are there to “just listen”.
You are the person that I can laugh with about the most important life events.
You “know me” and that saves words sometimes.
Thank you for sharing your friendship with me.  
You are my best friend.

Happy Birthday my dearest friend.  I haven’t forgotten you.

I am celebrating you here on earth today and I know you are celebrating in Heaven!


Sending you love, comfort and peace!