Sunday, May 26, 2013

Happy birthday?

How do we celebrate someone's life after they've died?  Do we rejoice?  Be happy that they lived? Or mourn? Be sad that they died?  It's a birthday, and yet they've died...  Lynn is not 32 today, though he does live.  He is no longer bound to this temporal age, he is an eternal being... So how do we celebrate?  What expressions of love are worthy and meaningful?

I have struggled with this one.  I don't know how to feel.  I rejoice and I mourn!  All mingled in one big complicated mess.

This is Lynn on his fourth birthday.  Cyndi, my mother-in-law, Grandma Bennett as she's known around here, went searching for this photo, found it, and sent me a copy.  For over a month she was haunted by this image, reliving Lynn's fourth birthday, remembering the events of that day... That too was a Sunday birthday, a picnic in their backyard, he wore red sunglasses matching his new outfit, as modelled in the photo :)  and his smile... (Is it just me?  Or is that my Roya in there smiling back at me??)

The girls remember last year's birthday with Daddy, his 31st, and his last.  We spent all day preparing, spent way too much money to buy him special gifts!!, (not something we always did! He hated a big fuss on his birthday! Not to mention, he tended to spend enough money on his own!!). He wore his crown so proudly that weekend :)  We often called him our king.  God is the King of Kings, but Daddy is our king.  My girls loved to honor him, climb up in his lap, adorn him with their childlike love and adoration...

What are birthdays like in heaven? There is no time, no aging... How could there be a birthday?  If there was a day to celebrate would it not be the day of his death?  The day he was glorified and welcomed home?  So what is this day today?  What does it mean now in light of all that's happened?

Today we remember Lynn, we thank God for his life, that he was born and lived among us, and we mourn the loss of him in our lives here on earth...  Some things just don't make sense.  We do our best to trust.  We do our best to keep living... We watched videos of Lynn and laughed our heads off.  Alea would ask Did Daddy die in this one?  She was trying to understand how everything could seem so normal in the video, but Daddy was alive then and is not now... Roya was desperate to see his ashes again... Then, they got upset...

You probably can't tell from the picture, but the girls and I did make it to the beach this morning to write Happy Birthday, Daddy with rocks in the sand... We didn't make it all the way to the end of the letters, though.  The tide was coming in fast, it was cold and windy, and Alea had to pee...  My cousin Janel did sneak up on us to get a few pictures. We may see those later...

We were going to make a cake and enjoy some treats, but it didn't happen.  After a while we popped over to visit some family and the girls had a great time playing with their cousins while I did not much of anything...

I think I'm pretty numb.  At the end of the day, I'm still wondering... How do I celebrate the life of my husband in the shadow of his death?  What meaning does today hold when there is no more aging to be had? What good is a celebration when I can't lean forward and give him a kiss? tell him how much I love him? snuggle into his warmth and give him a good head rub? 

Birthdays after death seem like a crude awareness to how life moves on, when death has a way of standing still.

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