Birthdays for the Dead

Mary B. Golubich
4 min readMay 24, 2022


I love birthdays! I always have. I think it’s fun to celebrate surviving another year in the life. Despite all the hardships that come a person’s way, making it to another year is always something to celebrate. I know people that hate celebrating their birthdays, and I know people that love it way more than I do (which is saying a lot…I LOVE a reason to celebrate myself!).

My best friend Damian’s birthday was yesterday, but unfortunately he passed last June. He was one of those people that always wanted to do something fun for his birthday, whether it was going on a day trip or just hanging out with his friends and family. I honestly thought it would be one of the harder days of the year, but I felt pretty…okay. I lit a candle, I saw friends, and made his favorite Hot Fudge Cake (although I can’t make it like his mom does, it was still good). I wanted to go to the aquarium, or go on a hike, or do something nature-based, but being 7 and a half months pregnant kind of killed those ideas. I’m hoping that next year I can take a nice walk with Olivia on Damian’s birthday.

I didn’t cry once, which was surprising to me. My hormones have been all over the place, so I fully expected to cry! I think knowing that the day would be hard and knowing to take it one minute at a time helped. I looked at everything that he had left behind in my life, all the memories that we shared over our 10+ years of knowing each other, and smiled. I tried to honor him in my own way, knowing that I needed to in order to handle the never ending grief of losing someone so close.

Not doing something for him was out of the question. He was my soulmate, my best friend above anyone or anything else. Our friendship transcended any relationship that I’ve ever had, platonic or otherwise…and Matt knows all of this! He knows that Damian and I had a connection that I’ll never find again, and as far as I know, he’s not jealous of it. I made it known that Damian and I were a package deal from the beginning!

I couldn’t ignore his birthday, no matter how hard it was knowing that he wasn’t here to celebrate with everyone. I just hope that everyone who loved him had a moment to sit with the feelings and the memories that I know washed over them.

After Olivia is born, I plan on getting a tattoo in his honor like I’ve been wanting. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted for the longest time. We were talking about getting matching tattoos a week or so before he passed, but I’ve always wanted to get a manatee tattoo for him in general. Maybe for my birthday, I’ll be able to pay for my own tribute tattoo! Although, I’ll be barely three weeks post-partum…late birthday tattoos are a thing, right?

If you’ve ever lost someone and dread their birthday coming up, try treating it as a day of celebration, like you would if they were here. Make a food they liked, do something they would have enjoyed, and light a candle in honor of them. Think of them while you enjoy time with the people you love and the people that loved them. For me, it turned a day that I was anxious about into a day that I truly enjoyed. I only hope that I can do it all over again next year, and beyond.

Thanks for reading, everyone! I was going to write about this for the monthly wrapup post next week, but I figured I’d write too much in that particular part…so you get it now! I miss my best friend every day, but I made his birthday special like I always tried to do when he was alive. It really did help me avoid falling too deep into Sad Time, despite there being every reason to.

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Once again, thanks so much for reading. Don’t forget to hug and love people you love every day! I’ll see you next week with the monthly wrapup post!



Mary B. Golubich

I write stories, as well as music, movie, product reviews and monthly wrap-up journals. Basically, if you can think it, I can write about it.