Working On Her Birthday

I was hit particularly hard this year.

abstract watercolor illustration of an empty desk in the corner of a home office, filled with light yet still somber
Image created via Midjourney

This week was Iris's birthday. Eight years have now passed since she died.

I was hit particularly hard this year. I was texting a fellow loss mom, and she said: "I swear the anniversary dates are harder as time rolls on. Fewer people remember or reach out. It can feel like our babies are extra invisible because other people view it as just a regular day while for us, time stands still all over again."

I was in a foul mood. I fired off some terse replies to people on Threads and LinkedIn. Bad takes rubbed me the wrong way more than they usually do. I slogged through my client work.

I used to work for a company with unlimited PTO. I'd choose not to work on Iris's birthday and Nelle's birthday. Then, in 2022, I had a different job. I'd started only a few months before. I don't really remember what happened that day, but I remember being really sad and wishing I'd taken the day off. In 2023, I was freelancing full-time.

It didn't occur to me that I should have opted not to work on her birthday. I could have taken the day off, just like a holiday, or any other day I choose not to work.

Her birthday is on my calendar, but one of those "All Day Events" in Google where it only appears at the top of the day. I changed it to an "Out-of-Office" event. Now, the entire day shows that I'm unavailable – a visual cue to myself that I shouldn't plan to work that day. I did the same for Nelle's birthday.

So maybe next year will be easier.

A Cake Too Early
I still don’t know what to do about a cake.
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