Saturday was my birthday, never has the phrase "happy birthday" been so jarring. As a child, alright even as an adult, I LOVED my birthday. I called July my birthday month and sometimes stretched the Leo-esque celebration into August with the "well, it's two weeks before and two weeks after" rationale. This year I asked folks who are close to me not to mark the day, with varying levels of compliance.
That really helped. R still got me a gift, a basket and lights on my bike but no fanfare at all. A few friends gave me gifts but they were not delivered in a capital B birthday way. While I appreciate the intention behind phrases like "I hope you have a wonderful day," "Today's the day to celebrate you," and "Hope you are doing something special" the comments were so out of line with my reality that they felt a little mean. Something special would be holding my children, not looking at their ashes. I absolutely know this was not the intent of the well-wishers so I tried to be gracious.
I had to go to work for much of the day which was a blessing. I was speaking to a group ranging from 300- 120 folks so I had to be "on" and my compartmentalizing skills have greatly improved over the last six months; I only had one teary eyed moment at work. I think I am moving towards some kind of acceptance. I don't seem to be surprised by their absence any more nor does folks talking about babies make me feel panic. My current state of mind seems to be focused on bearing the weight of this sadness and trying to figure out who I am now.
Happy Birthday to me.