Birthdays for the Dead

I never know how the depression is going to present itself or to what degree. Sometimes, it’s sudden and other times, it’s inexplicable and manic. One thing is for certain, it’s expected around the months of April, August and the holidays so it’s safe to say that for the past five years I feel this heaviness, this weight, pretty much a third of the entire year. And that’s not counting the other two thirds of the year when the minutest thing can send me spiraling downward into the dark abyss of grief, loneliness and sadness. It all comes down to the hard to swallow fact that living in a world without my mother has been an unwanted learning experience, one where simply not existing myself often feels more ideal than celebrating another one of her birthdays without candles that will be extinguished by her very breath.

Tomorrow, April 8th, I will wish my mother another happy birthday, the fifth to be exact, since she took her last breath. There is no guidebook for these types of things – how to celebrate the birth date of a deceased loved one – filed under the self-help section of your local bookstore. Or maybe there is? But I sure as hell don’t want to read it. And just as there isn’t sufficient guidance on how to conduct special occasions in light of death, there isn’t warning of the so-called chemical imbalance in the brain that is sure to rear its ugly head. Sure, I know what month is approaching but as I stated above, one cannot anticipate depression’s presentation, its severity or its effect. One can only ride it out, go with the flow per se.

This particular year, I have found it increasingly difficult to lift my body out of bed every single morning this week. I guarantee the people with whom I conduct my weekly routine are none the wiser. Should I applaud myself for this? Is this an accomplishment?   Let me just pause and pat myself on the back for being able to conceal my detrimental grief for eight hours a day. And if you’re not grasping the hard sarcasm in those last few sentences or sensing the exaggerated rolling of my eyes whilst I wrote it, you’re missing something.

In some ways, the daily routine aids in easing some of the tremendous sadness that has surrounded this particular month for the past five years. I’m immensely grateful I just so happen to be exceptionally busy at work this week. But nighttime inevitably comes enveloping me in its bulging, sorrowful arms and then the early morning rudely awakens me to yet another awful, unwelcome reminder, “Your mother is dead.”



4 thoughts on “Birthdays for the Dead

    1. Thank You, Brianna. I wish my whole world could have known the beautiful human being who was my mama so this is my way of showing and sharing, at least, a sliver of that beautiful human being.

  1. Reading this breaks my heart… I don’t know what you are going through but I know it must be one of the hardest things any human being can face… I lost my 5 year old little brother to cancer ( I was in 10th grade) There are no words to make you feel better and time doesn’t make it any easier. People say everything happens for a reason…but what would the reason be? People say they are in a better place.. But what better place than in our arms or in our lives, hugging us and smiling at us?… It seems so unfair. It makes me sad you have so much pain and sadness in your heart.. Try to be strong and try to remember there is no way your mom would want you to be this sad.. She would want you to be happy and enjoy your life to the fullest, be the free and beautiful spirit that you are and be the strong woman she taught you to be.. Better said than done I know.. But as a mom I know she would want her baby to be happy and smile and of course think of her but not see her Sad…
    Sending big hugs your way.. Xo

    1. Giselle, wow – first off, let me begin by thanking you so much for sharing. I had no idea about your little brother and I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. While everyone experiences the loss of loved ones differently, you certainly understand how tragic, seemingly cruel and unjust life can be.

      I couldn’t have worded it better. What would the reason be if everything happened for a reason? And SERIOUSLY – what better place is there than right here with their loved ones!?

      Please don’t be sad for me, though. I am incredibly strong and I recognize that now (I got it from my mama) haha but as everyone does, I have my weak moments. I am still grieving and I believe I will be for the rest of my life. While there may be pain and sadness in my heart, I am also full of joy and love for life – joy and love that drives me to live this life to the fullest because I know all too well how short it can be.

      Thank you, again, for sharing and for all of your sincere words. It means so much. It has been a joy watching you and your daughter’s incredible bond through social media! It’s truly palpable – much love to you and yours! xo

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