I suppose champagne birthdays are only really a thing only when you’re an adult – when you can actually drink champagne! By definition, today we could have potentially be celebrating your champagne birthday. You would have been turning 6 on the 6th this year. And even though you’re not here, I’ll still raise a champagne flute to celebrate. Celebrate you. Celebrate me. Celebrate us as a collective family. Celebrate the fact that we have survived 6 years of this balancing act of grief and joy. Love and pain.
6 years in, I still hold this day sacred. And I know that in some shape or form I will continue to hold it sacred until I die. It’s the day I honour you but also honour the person that you made me. Honour the strength, the perspective and the grace that I had anticipated to be born on this day, but never did. Instead, all of those things were born much earlier, in a completely different setting, in the most unexpected way, shaping the person that I have become.
Self care is one of those phrases you hear as a bereaved parent very early on in the grief journey, but holds very little merit. It’s not much, much later in one’s grief journey that you come to recognize the critical role it plays, in not only surviving, but also living through the journey.
Today, on your would have been champagne birthday, I choose self care – even if it comes in the form of a champagne glass.