Today Would Have Been My Dad’s Birthday

Today has been a bit of a weird day. Like every day since my dad passed away in January, it’s been a perfectly normal day…but it’s also completely surreal, because it’s the next in a series of firsts without my father. Today is his first birthday that I’ve been alive and he hasn’t.

A big part of the grieving process for me has been to acknowledge what would have happened if Dad were alive, then letting the realization sink in that he’s no longer here.

For example, I had a dream recently in which I was playing soccer and scored a fancy goal. My immediate thought was to call Dad and tell him all about it. I then remembered that I can’t call him anymore, and I was absolutely crushed. I woke up sobbing into my pillow.

A normal birthday interaction would have been for me to Facetime Dad and Mom and chat with them about their week and my week before moving on to what Dad was hoping to do in the next year. With the midterm so recent, we probably would have talked politics, and maybe we would have talked business a bit too. Dad was a great sounding board when I was thinking through things for Stonemaier Games. I would have told him I loved him and that I hope he could have some quality time with his grandkids on his birthday, then I would have gone about my day.

Last year, with Dad going through chemo, I donated blood on his birthday in his honor. I was looking to do that this week, but the Red Cross near me isn’t currently accepting donations (which is super odd–do they not need more blood). I’ll give as soon as they reopen donations.

Instead, I did something else that Dad and I shared. Growing up and continuing into my 20s and 30s whenever I visited home, Dad would give me a haircut. So today, as I’ve done for many years in between visits home and especially since the pandemic, I gave myself a haircut. It isn’t as neat or as precise as Dad would have done it, but it reminded me of the many times I’ve sat in the tall chair with a plastic bib, often in the middle of his workshop. I really treasure all of those quiet father and son moments.

Thanks for letting me share this today–this is just for me, but I have a heavy heart today and wanted to process it in writing. Happy birthday, Dad.

12 thoughts on “Today Would Have Been My Dad’s Birthday”

  1. Hi Jamey. Losing your father is going to be something that you will never get over, though the pain will dull a bit with time, but at least you will always get to cherish the great memories that you have of being with him and how he was always there for you. I think it’s really nice that you gave yourself a haircut in honour of your memories. You are very lucky that you had such a wonderful relationship with him. Keep processing your feelings in writing – it really seems to help you, and we are always here to listen and help you through any tough times in any way we can.

  2. So good to hear how you are dealing with your Dad’s death.
    It is encouraging and inspiring to all who read it, as most folks have lost someone near and dear to them,


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