I wanted to share a list of ideas for celebrating your angel's birthday. Just because they are no longer around physically, does not mean that this day can no longer be celebrated. I know some people are a little surprised that we celebrate Devon's birthday every year but most are very understanding. It's a very personal thing for each person, family and circumstance. However, it has been a wonderful and meaningful tradition for our family. Below are a few ideas for ways to celebrate and honor your child on their birthday.
1. Have a party. Make it complete with cake, ice cream and the works. Sing Happy Birthday to your child. You can make this party a celebration of your child's life.
2. Make and watch a slide show of pictures of your child. Talk and reminisce about them.
3. Have a balloon release in their honor. You can have each person release a balloon or you can release the same number of balloons as the age of your angel. You can write special messages to your angel on the balloon or attach a note if you'd like.
4. Plan a service project in honor of your angel. Print off a service card to give to those your are serving. A few ideas for service projects are...... donate to a food bank, donate to the NICU, help at a food kitchen for the homeless, bake cookies for your local police/firemen, help out an elderly neighbor with yard work or shopping, donate a bear to another angel family, donate to a cause or foundation that is meaningful to you in your child's name, give books/stuffed animals to your local children's hospital, dedicate a day to random acts of kindness in honor of your angel, donate gifts you would have been purchasing for your child to a child in need of the same age.
5. Visit the your child's grave or the location where you spread their ashes and sing them Happy Birthday. Leave a note or memento for them. Decorate their grave with balloons, stuffed animals, or other meaningful items.
6. Keep a journal for your child. Every year on their birthday make an entry. Tell them how you are feeling, how much you miss them, what you think they would have been doing at this age, what is going on in your life, etc.
7. Go somewhere special or meaningful to you and your angel for their birthday. Perhaps a cabin on the lake, camping in the mountains, sitting on a special beach.
8. Participate in a 5k, 10k, triathlon, or marathon around your child's birthday. Make a t-shirt stating you are running in memory of your child and personalize it how you'd like. Invite others to come and run in honor or your child. Make them identical shirts too.
9. Plant a tree, flower, or flowering shrub in honor of your child. Make a butterfly garden, or plant flowers that will bring hummingbirds.
10. Create a work of art for your child. You don't have to be an artist to do this. Write them a poem, paint a picture, sculpt with clay, make them a blanket, a photo collage. Express your feelings of both joy and grief through art.
What do you do on your angel's birthday? I'd love for you to share and I'll add it to the list if it's not already on there!