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UPDATE: Sympathy Note Marking Deceased Person's Birthday (Please Read!!!!)


ErinE
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UPDATE: I sent a card, noting the date and mentioning a memory (the last time I saw the deceased). I saw the deceased's parents recently and they thanked me for the note (gripping both my hands and hugging me close, if that indicates depth of feeling). I took everyone's advice and shaped it to my own experience. Thank you to all who gave me their wisdom.

 

For future googlers (or internet searchers) please, if it's the first year's death of someone close to you, send a note to the parents on the deceased's birthday. They will be grateful that someone, somewhere, remembered that their loved one was here with us.

 

Life is too short not to mark how blessed we are by those too-swiftly gone.

_________

Someone I've known for decades recently passed away. I'd like to send a note to the parents, acknowledging that the deceased person's birthday is approaching. Problem is: I don't know what to say. Is this a good idea? And does anyone have advice? I've read some wonderful notes on this forum so I'm asking for help here. 

Thanks!

Edited by ErinE
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Personally, I think it's a lovely idea to let them know that you care and you remember. (Too often people are left to mourn those anniversaries alone.) Maybe just let them know you are thinking of them and wanted them to know you remember that their loved one's birthday is coming up and don't want it to go unacknowledged. Maybe share a funny or happy memory in your note. After my father's death, we received an unexpected note from someone sharing such memories and telling us how important my dad had been to the person. We'd had no idea. We cried, but they were good tears.

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I think it is a good idea but I am not the one for a great note.  Two years ago my dear friend died in March.  Last year I gave some wonderful bulbs for the garden to her husband and daughter to show I remembered the day.  They were colors that friend loved.  It was definitely the right decision as they seemed to be so comforted to be able to talk to someone else who remembered.......they really wanted time and to share stories.

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I love this idea. The first year after my dad died a lovely friend sent a brief note on both Father’s Day and Christmas saying something about how the “firsts” are the hardest. I so appreciated that she remembered my loss and acknowledged I’d likely be grieving on those days. 

So maybe just a line or two saying something like that? As someone else already mentioned, if you have a memory of this person, include that. 

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B-days of people who have passed are a big deal for people in my house. The family will probably very much appreciate the note and it won't matter what you say. I would just write something heartfelt. (thinking of her, praying for you, etc.) You could even go to visit them if you feel close enough.

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Thinking of you on ___ Birthday.

 

whether it's a good idea or not depends upon the parents.  some people would appreciate being remembered on what could be a hard day.   other's wouldn't.  you know the parents and would have a better idea of how they would receive it.

but I've also been reminded of "never suppress the desire to do a good deed".

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FWIW, DH's grandparents receive flowers and a card every year remembering one of their deceased children on the anniversary of the person's passing and her birthday. It means so much to them. They are so grateful for it. I think you've gotten some good suggestions on wording, so I just wanted to pass along the perspective I know of from someone who is on the receiving end.

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I think it's a great idea to let them know you are thinking of them on such a bittersweet day.  I think it's hard for loved ones when the world moves on while they are grieving so it's nice for them to know that others are thinking of them and the person who passed away.  It can be a simple note or something bigger but this is really a case where it's the thought that counts.

 

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I love when people send us notes or even quick messages on Nate's birthday. Doesn't have to be a long note. A simple "Thinking of you/remembering Nate with you today" is lovely and something I very much appreciate. I have never known what to say either, but on my niece's birthday for over a decade, I have said pretty much that, assuming that that's what I would like to hear too, and now that I'm on the receiving end, it is exactly what I love to hear. 

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There are a few people that I do this for, but usually it’s just a message or email and not a card.  I think of the departed on those days (birthdays/Christmas) and I hope it’s a comfort to the family to know that they’re not the only ones thinking of their loved one that day.  

I keep it as simple as I can, “Thinking of you today.”  They’ll know why.  

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When I did this, I sent a notecard. I wrote something about remembering it was T's birthday, that I knew this must be a difficult day for them (it was the parents of someone I grew up with) and that I was thinking of them and him on that day. I ran into the mother later and she mentioned how nice it was for someone to remember. 

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I think this is such a loving act. I agree with the words already mentioned. “Thinking of you and remembering ————‘s life today and always.” I also think it’s very nice to share some memory or story. 

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18 hours ago, Garga said:

There are a few people that I do this for, but usually it’s just a message or email and not a card.  I think of the departed on those days (birthdays/Christmas) and I hope it’s a comfort to the family to know that they’re not the only ones thinking of their loved one that day.  

I keep it as simple as I can, “Thinking of you today.”  They’ll know why.  

 

This is not something I feel or think about, but others I know have been very helped by receiving comfort and thoughts on that day, so I try to do it for my closer friends.  Keep it simple, as Garga said, they know why.  Even a text is okay I think.

 

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I've posted an update, but I wanted to include a new post.

Life is so precious, y'all. Forgive the awkward southern American influence in my English grammar, but I was very blessed to attend a memorial service for the "best man" of men. I've been to the service of a "good man," a service for a "did the best I could" man, and "man, well life is what is is" man.

We do the best we can and whatever comes after is left to the judgement of the ever-after. So who am I to judge?

Be good, be kind, and be loved. I firmly believe that's all we can ask...

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