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What Day Is It? Ask Your Grief.

Tomorrow is my 53rd birthday, but I didn’t know that until yesterday.

I was coaching my client group and I mentioned that it’s my birthday this weekend.

They asked me excitedly, When?!

I don’t actually know, I laughed. What’s today? 🤔

I didn't draw a blank because I don’t want to get older.

I am grateful to grow older.

As a solo parent with a deceased husband, I am very committed to staying alive.

I also love the courage I have found within myself in my 50’s to

  • Quit a job that was too safe and not aligned with me desire to grow

  • Start my coaching business full force, even taking out my first loan since graduate school

  • Write my first book

  • Speak my truth with more confidence than I ever thought possible

  • Co-create a loving partnership with a man who invites me to dig in to the hard stuff we feel

I am grateful to turn another year older. 🙏🏼

But I am curious.🤔

Is there something that I don't want to see, feel or experience that is related to my not knowing what day my birthday is this year?🙈

As the Universe would have it, I came upon Meghan Riordan Jarvis’s TedX Talk (Anchorage) Why We Need Grief Education.

She acknowledged that even professional grievers will overlook their grief. (I consider myself a professional griever - my book even has a whole chapter on grief!) She listed a myriad of ways our grief shows up in our bodies and how it interferes with our cognition and health.

Then she gave me the validation I needed. She said, We even forget our birthdays.

My husband is so much on my mind during the holidays, of course.

He was born on Christmas.

We celebrated 28 of his Birthday/Christmases together (we met when we were 16), six with our son and nine with our daughter.

Grieving Eric’s death contains within it the grief of growing older - of another of his birthdays come and gone.

But it also contains within another grief: My longing for the sweet healthy family that once celebrated my birthday. As I wrote this post my very tall and hunky soon-to-be-sixteen-year-old son came downstairs, dressed to volunteer at our local firehouse where he spends every free minute of every day.

We hugged.

And instead of withholding my grief, I told him I was sad.

And he leaned into the hug. (Which if you have a sixteen year old son, you know is not something that happens every day anymore and which deserves it's own grief newsletter.)

We laughed through my tears about forgetting my birthday.

He said he has forgotten his birthday in the past too. I thanked him for holding space for me to let the sad out and that I felt so much better.

My birthday is tomorrow. November 19th. I remember now. 🥳

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