Whether we want to admit it or not, death is a part of life. At some point in our lives people we love will die. I’m so thankful and blessed that as a Christian I have HOPE in that seemingly dark hour. I know that one day, those who share in my belief of Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior and I will be reunited. And what a GLORIOUS reunion that will be!!
That “year of firsts” after losing someone is difficult. Your mind is continually drawn to the fact that they are no longer there with you to celebrate. Whether it be a birthday or a holiday – they are missed.
When my Dad passed last year it was one of the most gut-wrenching things I have ever been through in my 35 years of life. The year of “firsts” hit me hard and often unexpectedly. I didn’t always realize why I was down or sad until I looked at a calendar and saw the date. My birthday and Easter were on the same day last year and I remember having a very difficult time celebrating my life when I missed my Daddy so much. I was, however, so thankful to celebrate the RESURRECTION of my Savior, which gives me HOPE that I will see my Daddy again someday!!
This year, when the One-Year Anniversary of his passing came around we (my mom, brothers and I) decided we should have a “Celebration Dinner.” My brother had a great idea to cookout our Dad’s favorite foods and invite my Dad’s family over to Celebrate his new life in heaven! We are not mourning his death, but rather celebrating the new life he has in Christ Jesus. He is fully restored without blemish or pain!! And we will see him again one day!!! And that is worth celebrating – don’t you think?!
So how can you celebrate the life of someone you love?
Have a Party!!! ~ I know that might sound weird, but it was the absolute perfect way to celebrate my Dad’s 1-year Heavenly Birthday!!! What did we do? We had a Celebration Dinner with all my Dad’s favorite cookout foods. We made it like a dinner party, but very informal. We invited my Dad’s mom, sister, brothers and sisters-in-law. We asked them to arrive around 3pm to visit and have fun just “hanging out,” which is what my Dad loved doing.
We let the grand-kids play outside and run around while we were
burning grilling and preparing the food. It was a beautiful day and one that my Dad enjoyed. We were so blessed!!
Before, during and after dinner we sat around listening to my Dad’s family tell stories of him when he was young and what they remember most. Then we transitioned into stories of him with us growing up and then him with the grand-kids. We thought of “Doug-isms” – phrases that he would repeatedly say – and had such a wonderful time remembering him and how he truly blessed each of our lives.
We were also blessed to connect on Facetime with my youngest brother, his wife and baby girl who are stationed in Okinawa. We talked to him for nearly 2 hours!!! It was such a joy to visit with them and let the Aunts and Uncles who haven’t even “met” my niece see them and visit too. He even told some stories of his own!!! Isn’t technology wonderful?!
I made some amazing sugar cookies – if I do say so myself – and homemade buttercream icing for the kids to decorate them with. So, when things started to wind down and dinner had settled a little, we broke out the cookies, sprinkles and icing for some FUN! The kids had a blast decorating their own cookies!! Some of the adults even joined in the fun too!!
The most fun was eating them though!!
And that’s how we celebrated my Dad’s 1st Heavenly Birthday!!
Have you ever done anything like this to celebrate someone you love? How do you celebrate and remember those who have gone Home before you? I would love to hear how you celebrate the lives of those who’ve passed?
Sharing with these link-ups: Raising Arrows, The Better Mom, Time-Warp Wife, Growing Home, Far Above Rubies, Raising Homemakers, Deep Roots At Home, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Raising Mighty Arrows, Hearts for Home Blog Hop, What’s Cooking, Love?, Our Simple Country Life – Hearts 4 Home Thursdays