Birthday blues

I told myself it didn’t make much difference. It’s been a year since my son died and I have thought about it every day since, so I didn’t think the date itself would actually make a difference. And it didn’t at first. Last night I couldn’t help thinking about the night I had a year ago. But then I think about that often, so it was just one more time. I’m used to it by now. And this morning I woke up and did what I always do and felt no different. Until I got a birthday message from my mother.

Instead of the usual ‘happy birthday, I hope you have a good day’ which I could handle and was ready for, she said ‘I’m glad you exist’. Less cliché and certainly very sweet but it really got to me. All I could think at that moment was ‘I’ll never be able to have that thought’ and I broke down.
It’s amazing how often people with the best intentions manage to say the exact thing that will make you feel like shit.

I get the point of celebrating birthdays now. I always thought it was just a celebration of life, of a family being happy to have a new member and a celebration of being alive for yet another year – all very good motives. But it’s not until you see exactly how hard it can be to bring forth a new life that you feel it is also a victory celebration over death and chaos.

I’m always going to have a hard time separating my birthday from my son’s death. Even though he died the day before, on the 7th, I still gave birth to him on September 8 and that is too painful a memory to just keep locked up in some far away section of my brain. I miss him too much and I think I always will. He would have been one year old today and I want more than anything to know what that would be like but I never will.

The main difference the whole experience has had on me is that I can no longer be an optimist. I was always cynical but at the same time had this blind faith that nothing really terrible would ever happen to me – after all I’m just average, bound to have an average life. The problem is, how do you know what the hell is included in a average life?
Now I always expect something to go wrong and only believe it will be OK when I see it. It takes the enjoyment out of a lot of it but at least I feel prepared. We do what we must to feel like we have some kind of control over our lives, the thing we need to keep going.

It’s been an otherwise uneventful day, so far. I’m still sick and don’t really feel like doing much anyway. I’m just home alone, as usual, trying to get through the day and be done with it for another year. I plan on spending the weekend eating birthday cake until I fall into a sugar coma and watching 24 season 5.
A few years ago I wrote a song about my birthday and all the crap that tends to happen around that day. Last year I finished it because it suddenly became painfully pertinent. I never added anything especifically related to the baby but to me it will always be connected.
Like most of the songs it’s still a work in progress but I felt it was the right day to let it come out and play.

Happy Birthday

Somebody died
So nobody showed up
I thought I had friends
but nobody showed up

mom says I’m to blame
cause nobody showed up
I make puzzles instead
to pass the time

Years go by
some things stay the same
seems I will always cry
On my birthday

I want to sleep all day
I want to sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep
I want to sleep all day
I just want to sleep sleep sleep

Every year
I fear the day
It’s been going on
For over a decade

A mere coincidence
Is what I try to say
But why do bad things
Always happens on my birthday

I want to sleep all day
I want to sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep
How can I live through the day
I want to sleep sleep sleep

happy birthday

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1 Comment

  1. A small tear fell over my face while reading the post and listening the (great) song…

    Nothing, bad, have ever happened in my birthday, but i’ve been “following” U for years and this post has touched me.

    I just want to leave here a kiss for you *

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