40 Balloons

Shawn would have been 40 years old on March 7th this year. How do you celebrate something that would have been?

On the night of his birthday, I spoke at a grief group in his honor. I told a room full of 70 other people whose hearts have been broken wide open that love doesn’t end. The loss is permanent, but the love is lasting. I ate red velvet cake and cookie dough ice cream with Shawn’s family and my kids. My second husband, who is most humble and amazing, helped me bring 40 blue balloons to Shawn’s grave for our children to release up to heaven with sweet birthday wishes.

A dear friend who I met after Shawn died, sent me this kind hearted email, “Happy birthday to Shawn. I haven’t met him yet, but his life created a ripple that reaches me and effects me everyday. I can’t wait to meet him someday.”

I discovered this week that what would have been became what was. You celebrate what you have, you miss what you have lost, you love all the same.


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