Henry’s First Birthday

Henry and I on his birthday. We had a Halloween costume party.

Henry and I on his birthday. We had a Halloween costume party.


Our son Henry’s first birthday was a couple of weeks ago. My late husband Michael has a huge family so we ended up having a pretty large party. I usually enjoy party planning but I have to admit, I didn’t put as much effort and joy into planning this one. It’s understandable and I’m not beating myself up about it.

I was really dreading both days, his actual birthday and his party, from a grief perspective, but both ended up being a good days. I was afraid that I would be overwhelmed by grief and feelings of loneliness and sadness, and those feelings were there, but they were manageable.

Another milestone behind us. From here on out it’s a milestone a month until May. Thanksgiving, Christmas, our anniversary, Valentines, my birthday, Easter, and then the one year anniversary of Mike’s death. Although it sounds difficult and I’m sure it will be, in some ways it won’t be much different. Every month I realize that another 30 days has gone by without my husband, I grieve for time passing. Every day takes me further and further away from a time when my husband was alive and we were happy. A time when I felt whole and hopeful.

When Michael died, I lost that hope that the future will be better. Now the future just is. I don’t know if I can be happy as a widow, without my husband by my side. But I have to try, for my son’s sake. Even though I have every reason and justification in the world to let myself live in sadness and grief, I don’t want my son to grow up with a perpetually depressed mother. Sometimes I will be sad and that’s unavoidable, maybe I will even be sad more often than other mothers, but I have to try to be happy, too. I want him to have a happy childhood despite not having a father. And the only way to do that is to be happy myself, too. So I’ll try, one day at a time.

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