Bittersweet Birthday

November 7, 2015 1:12pm CST
Last night, my second-born son had a joint birthday party with 3 friends to celebrate him turning 14 (which happens in 5 days). The celebration had a wonderful turnout. The kids each received a bunch of fun, low-key gifts (think candy, silly mustaches, funny cards, and more). They played kickball in the dark by putting glow sticks around the bases. It was fantastic. As the party was winding down, I found myself needing a moment to myself to take a breath. My thoughts turned toward my oldest son Nolan who died nearly three years ago at the age of thirteen. Nolan never reached his fourteenth birthday. He would be turning sixteen next month if he were still with us. I kept the tears at bay. The party was a celebration of four great kids. I didn't want to be a downer. Life keeps moving on and I know it must. But sometimes it is pretty darn hard to accept.
18 people like this
16 responses
@Juliaacv (23267)
• Canada
7 Nov 15
I know that your loss will always hurt your heart, but you're doing such a good job supporting and allowing your other kids to grow and flourish in this world. I cannot imagine how you son feels, except maybe he feels his older brother's spirit is with him on such occasions. When our son was away at university he told us that he often thought of his sister, and it would warm his thoughts especially when he got lonely and homesick.
6 people like this
@wetnosedogs (1577)
• United States
7 Nov 15
You are doing good. and Nolan's spirit is still with you. He will help you make the day great for his brother. My goodness, time flies, From B to here, your kids just keep growing.
6 people like this
7 Nov 15
It really does, doesn't it? I started writing on B, gosh, about 2.5 years ago. They've changed a lot in that time. thanks for the kind words!
6 people like this
• Eugene, Oregon
8 Nov 15
Very encouraging!
2 people like this
@Rollo1 (16725)
• Boston, Massachusetts
7 Nov 15
I don't know that you can ever really get over the loss of your child, and things like birthdays and holidays are bound to bring it to mind more. It's good that you could hold it together for the sake of your other son, but I am sure it was a very difficult thing to do.
3 people like this
@celticeagle (114492)
• Boise, Idaho
10 Nov 15
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your other son. I can't even imagine. I think you are carrying on in very graceful and wise way. We can't bring our loved ones back but we can add their memories to celebrations and keep their memory alive. A extra candle on the cake for a missing brother maybe.
2 people like this
@bluesa (12836)
• Johannesburg, South Africa
9 Nov 15
Happy Birthday to your son. I love that they thought to use glow sticks, to light up the night to play kickball. Nolan will always be in all your hearts.
2 people like this
• Canada
9 Nov 15
That's a really difficult thing to live through. You were right to go off by yourself with those thoughts, so as not to ruin your son's day. You'll have to focus on him and appreciate the fact he is in your life. Nolan would want that.
2 people like this
@valmnz (13199)
• New Zealand
8 Nov 15
Such celebrations will always be hard. I'm sure your son thinks of his brother on such occasions too. Stay strong.
2 people like this
• Eugene, Oregon
8 Nov 15
You are a great parent, staying strong for the son having the birthday.
2 people like this
@BelleStarr (32085)
• Portland, Connecticut
8 Nov 15
I am sending you a hug, a mother's pain never goes away and I don't think it should. You need to celebrate the job he gave you and lucky you you have your very won angel. (I do too)
2 people like this
@Tampa_girl7 (21654)
• United States
7 Nov 15
It looks like they had a wonderful time.
2 people like this
@jstory07 (57928)
• Roseburg, Oregon
7 Nov 15
That loss will always hurt. sorry for your loss.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Nov 15
Life goes on but you'll keep those memories of Nolan alive for the rest of your life. AS the other kids reach milestones you'll be counting Nolans too
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Nov 15
Aww I am so sorry for that deep loss but holding your head up and not shedding a tear is as good as bowing your head and shedding a tear or two, a downer you would not be but beautifully human you would be.
1 person likes this
@GreatMartin (4314)
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
8 Nov 15
I don't know how to approach this or if I even should and, of course, you can ignore and I would understand--how have/do the other kids handle losing a brother?
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Nov 15
Happy Birthday to your son! It is so hard loosing a child, I had mine for 31 years. Thirteen is so young, you are such a wonderful mother, and yes you must go forward in your own time!
1 person likes this
@Fleura (6225)
• United Kingdom
10 Nov 15
I'm glad you all had a lovely celebration for your son, and managed to keep the sad thoughts to yourself for his sake. I'm sure he often thinks of Nolan too, as you do, because he will always be in your hearts and 3 years is not very long at all. It will get a little easier as the years go by because you just can't go through life being sad all the time.