Dad's First Birthday Since He Passed Away

Updated on February 09, 2011
P.F. asks from Southlake, TX
11 answers


Today, Feb 9, would have been my dad's 67 birthday. This is the first one since he passed last year on March 17. He passed very unexpectedly of a heart attack. Today I thought I would be by myself, but school in closed, so obviously I have my two daughters home. My girls and I are getting through the day (my husband is at work), but we are all feeling quite sad. My dad loved his birthday. We are now living in a different state than where he is buried so we cannot go to the cemetery. I thought my girls and I would bake a birthday cake and sing Happy Birthday tonight to him. Is it good to do? Last year we had a surprise birthday party for him. We have a DVD we made for him. Should we all sit and watch it?

Thanks for any advise on this subject. I want to do the right thing for my girls, my husband and myself. We miss him so much.

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your responses and understanding. Yesterday was tough on all of us. We made a cake and sang Happy Birthday to him. We sat and told each other our favorite memories of him. It made us laugh and cry, but we felt good at the end. It was good therapy for all of us. We did not watch the DVD. We talked about it, but none of us were ready to watch it yet. In time, I am sure we will. Again, thank you all so very much!

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answers from Charlotte on

*HUGS*i know how you feel! its been 6 years friday that my dad passed and next month is his bday. its hard and since we moved i havent been able to goto his grave either. as far as the cake i do that every year on his birthday, except i have a pic we sing to :) my son never met his "papa" but he gets very excited to help make his cake and sing happy birthday!

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answers from Dallas on

You need to do what's right for you. If that would make you feel loving, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. You could make it a Memory Day - perhaps instead of the birthday "making a wish", you can all "share a memory" and then blow out the candles together. Remember all the things about him that make you smile. You'll still be sad, but it'll be a sad surrounded by love. Hugs to you and your family!

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answers from Chicago on

Wow, my dad passed last Sept 2010 suddenly as well of a HA. He also had cancer and kidney failure, but he was doing well. And he was still quite young. I sympathize with you and think that is great. My dad's bday is coming up in May and we just might do the same thing. Thanks for the great ideas. I just read his memorial that I wrote in his honor last night. If you did something like that, perhaps you could read that as well. But focus on the good things and keep it upbeat and as happy as possible. That will make it more special.

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answers from Albany on

Hi P., I'm sorry about your Dad/Grandpa.

I think ALL your ideas are GREAT ones. In doing these things with your girls, you will be more celebrating his life and less mourning his death.

I also think he'd be very pleased to be celebrated in these ways.

You sound very healthy, and so your girls will be also!

The best to you all.


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answers from Honolulu on

Why not. If that is what you all feel like doing, then it is perfectly okay.

My Dad died, 10 years ago.
I sympathize with you.
My Dad was about that age too. When he died.


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answers from Raleigh on

Oh sweetie I feel for you so much. My own father passed when I was 4 years old. It has been 25 years now and we still think of him on special days. Do whatever you feel like. My aunt made me a special book with pictures of him and stories about these pictures. Maybe you could make a special album that you can look at whenever you are thinking of him.

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answers from New York on

Hi - I just wanted to say I'm sorry you're having a sad day - I know how it feels to pass that first milestone birthday and how hard it is to get through. I think your idea of baking a cake for your dad is just lovely - your girls are old enough to participate and understand the meaning behind it, plus, it will give you something to do together to help pass the time. I would ask them how they feel about watching the DVD, and prepare them for the fact that it might make you all even more emotional (nothing wrong in my mind with a little group cry! I cried almost every day for a year after each of my parents died). It's OK to talk about our loved ones who have died, and celebrate them in whatever way you see fit. I think what you're doing is perfect. Hugs to you and your family!

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answers from Minneapolis on

my dad passed away unexpectedly from cancer when I was 18. my counselor told me to ALWAYS celebrate special holidays regarding him. I feel for you and know how hard he first year of anniversary's are. Thinking of you and your family today.

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answers from New York on

While it is understandable that you are grieving the loss of your beloved father and my sympathy goes out to you and your family, you may want to develop a tradition of honoring the life of your father. Perhaps doing something wonderful for someone else in his name would be more fulfilling than baking a cake. Perhaps doing something he would like to do. You are teaching your girls how to grieve. Only you can determine what will open wounds verses what will be healing and restorative to the family. Even how you frame your question by stating that this would have been his 67th birthday can bring more pain because it just resounds the fact that he only had 66 years. My mother's father died at 44 so you have had the pleasure of having 22 more years with your father to be greatful for.

Celebrate his life without focusing so much on the fact that he is not here. How would your father want you to mourn his passing and how do you honor him?

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answers from Dallas on

I was in the same place as you with my Grandfather who I was extremely close to who passed away less than a mth before his b-day last yr. It was a very difficult day not only b/cuz he aswell loved his b-days but his was 3 days after mine so we always had that to share. I think its okay to do whatever you feel you want to do, if you want to bake a cake and sing happy birthday at the top of your lungs than do it. You know he will hear you & probably enjoy it have fun today and think about the good times and birthdays not the sadness of him being gone.
Now if I can just follow that same advice once my time comes around I'll be doing good :)

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answers from Charlotte on

P., I'm coming up on my dad's 4th death anniversary. I admit that it would not help our family to do what you are planning - it would upset my boys, and it would be painful for me. However, my family is not like your family, and you need to do what is right for you. You may want to think about how many years you would keep this tradition going. It might be hard to explain later on to your kids that you no longer feel the need to continue doing it.

I would pull out his pictures from the picture album before turning on the DVD and see how the kids do. I actually cannot watch my dad's home movies yet. It's too real. My mom couldn't listen to his cell phone message she found a few months after he died. I thought I could, but it was too hard.

All my best,

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