The clock strikes midnight. October 29. It’s your birthday. If you were here, we might have been awake for a birthday wish, hug or kiss . . . keyword being “might.” Yet today, even after a long day I am fully awake, wishing I could utter birthday words and wishes so you could hear them. “Happy 44th Monster. We’re both the same age for three more months, hahah!”
While the heartbreak of Josh’s absence doesn’t sting quite as sharp this year, my eyes still fill with tears thinking about how much I want to celebrate another year of his life, which still feels abruptly short. I know it was a full and beautiful life for all that it was, but I selfishly wanted more. I try not to linger in this space, but still must acknowledge it.
Comments like, “He’s celebrating in Heaven” don’t quite cut it either - even if my beliefs and hopes for eternity are high. I am not even sure if there are birthday celebrations in Heaven. Seems silly.
Anyway . . . clearly, pausing to express my feelings at this early hour about Josh’s birthday has me rambling. How do I turn the narrative around? How do I still find the hope or silverlining in this story? It’s there but hard to see (often!). Perhaps, this is simply a day where I wrestle with the questions and the feelings as they are. I offer a word of thanksgiving for Josh and the 41+ years he did spend on this earth. I say another thanks for a random bird necklace I found in his old bag tonight that said, “Believe” on it. (Pretty sure it was for me but I have no idea why I hadn’t found it before today.)
And . . . I post a sappy grief blog for the occasion because it’s what I do. I say to whoever is reading this or wrestling through their own heartbreak(s) that "I get it." You aren’t alone in your sorrow, please know that - and somedays you just have to feel it deeply.
Turning the narrative a little more . . . I offer a challenge to each reader . . . to keep celebrating birthdays as much as possible - yours or someone else’s. Enjoy each day God has given you because each day is special. And . . . if you want to have extra fun today, enjoy some Chick-Fil-a for Josh because he loved that place and especially Sweet Tea.
I admit, with all this positive advice, it seems like I’m about to break into the lyrics to that goofy song from the 90s “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)," but I'll spare you.
Bringing it back down . . . I know that even the best advice or song lyrics aren't able to block out grief or heal a broken heart. Boy, do I know that. Thankfully, I (and we) have a loving God who is with us in the process. He is the ultimate healer in this life and beyond.
Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.