A Birthday in Heaven

October 4, 2019

Today is your birthday. You’re not here, but that doesn’t keep us from celebrating. After you left, we never stopped celebrating you and your greatness. Each year has been different. Some years cake, some years activities that you loved, but every year there are tears. Tears celebrating a life gone too soon. Tears celebrating the blessing that you were and the blessing you remain. Tears in the heartbreak of your absence. 

We will never stop celebrating you. Each year on your birthday we find ways to honor you. We find ways to make you proud. We find ways to keep your spirit just as alive as if you were still here. It’s hard celebrating the birthday of someone who is gone, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. 

This year, I sit here, at your grave. Wishing instead of beneath me, you were beside me. Every year on your birthday your only request was time with your family. You’re not here to request it, so here I sit, spending time with you. It feels hollow to sit here. There is an emptiness that fills me when I visit you here. But I’ll save that story for a different day. 

Today is about you. Today is about finding ways to give you the things you asked for, even after you’ve passed. Today is about celebrating everything that made you special and so deeply loved. But the truth is, today is hard. You are missed fiercely, mom. 

We will try our hardest to be joyful today, for you. We will look at pictures of you. We will talk about your greatness. We will share stories of times that made us laugh, times that surprised us, and times that we’ll never forget. We’ll gather together today, so that if you can see us, you see us giving you a party from afar. Never forgetting you. Never forgetting your love, your influence, your grace. 

Selfishly, I hope we feel your presence today. I’m desperately searching for you, even more-so than usual.

Happy Birthday in heaven, Mom. I hope our love and our birthday wishes make it to you.

xox, Chels

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller

A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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