The un-birthday party

My husband’s 60th birthday was in June, and I dreaded it. Since he had just passed away three months prior I was beside myself figuring out how to handle it.

All of the self-help books and websites talked about hitting those first milestones and how you should prepare. Being a good marketer in my professional life and having a penchant for throwing parties, I decided to immerse myself into planning a barbecue that weekend. I girded my loins, to borrow a phrase from a Meryl Streep movie, and began making plans to have those closest to me come over for hotdogs. It was not officially a birthday party, but they all knew what it was about.


We had a great time. I was so busy prepping for the party the week before and that day, that I did not think about being sad. Of course, you can  only place it aside for a few days – it will beckon you like one of those annoying Elf on the Shelf dolls young parents regret sharing with their kids. However, like the excitement parents must also feel when their kids are searching the house for their knobby-kneed inanimate holiday friend, it did help to get me through those few tough days.

My friends and family who were also sad and felt the lack of  James’ larger than life presence, put their best sandaled feet forward and rallied. I had invited 25 people over. How many showed up? 25. Life can be awesome.

2 thoughts on “The un-birthday party

  1. The scene where Stanley Tucci yells “Gird your loins” is one of my favorites. Somehow just thinking about him and all the frantic officemates prepping and scurrying to gird their loins makes me feel better, when I’m facing something daunting.


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