Birthdays in Heaven

Happy Birthday Baby,

I’ve been wondering what a birthday celebration in heaven looks like. I would imagine you get amazing gifts, a perfectly moist cake, and maybe you get to ride on a cloud or something. I’m sure our little homemade birthday parties wouldn’t measure up. Do you remember how mommy would make a beautiful cake, and have games and crafts prepared? Then I would hold a big cardboard cutout and you and your friends would throw jello at me. Those were fun days.

Today would be a big one for you, the day you officially became an adult. Eighteen. You could have voted in the next election. You always wanted to do grown up things and hated having to be the last one to get to do everything. But you got to see heaven first!

I miss you. It’s been five years since you died. That doesn’t seem like a long time, but it is an eternity when you’re separated from something you desperately want. It’s a hard life to know the one thing you want will never, ever happen. It’s a paradox – to want and can’t have. I’ve learned a lot about paradoxes. They’re a kind of contradiction and you probably don’t have them there. But a grieving life is one big paradox and lots of little ones.

The master paradox is one of steps. Every day feels like a step away from you. I’ve walked 1836 of them now and with each step, something is lost. Sometimes I have trouble remembering things about you and that breaks my heart all over again. But the flipside of this paradox is that every step is one closer to the day I’ll see you again. And that brings me joy.

We do have good days now. In fact, they probably outnumber the bad ones. It’s odd; sometimes having a good day makes me feel a little guilty, I’ll be honest. Like I’m moving on or something. I promise I’ll never forget you and I’ll never get over your loss.

You’re a huge part of everything I do, and so I wanted to say Happy Birthday. We’re all wearing yellow down here for you and doing something kind for someone else… like you always did.

I love you,





Dear Daddy,

Thanks for sending me a letter on my birthday. I’ll be honest, I’d kind of forgotten. Days run together here in heaven and every one is the best one. That would be hard for me to explain, but you’ll understand when you get here.

We don’t celebrate our earth birthday, but you should see the celebrations we have when new people arrive. There are bands playing, cheering and shouting, and hugs from people they haven’t seen in a long time. And that happens every day! There’s always new people showing up. You would think it would get old, but it never does.

So I guess, in a way, we do celebrate birthdays – but the more important ones. The day you get to heaven beats the best of parties down there!

I miss you guys, too. But I can see things differently now. I see how short the time we’re not together is compared to all the time we’ll have. It’s like that little hard thing on the end of a shoe lace is your earthly life and the rest of the lace is eternity. I know you can’t think that way while you’re there – but the time is close when I’ll be running at you and welcoming you home. I promise we’ll celebrate to beat the band.

Oh, speaking of bands… they’re warming up. Someone’s coming! It’s my favorite one too – this New Orleans Jazz band – lots of trumpets and brass, and a big drumbeat. They’re fantastic – you’ll love them! I’d better go join in.

I love you all.




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10 thoughts on “Birthdays in Heaven

  1. I love this! I think that I have to agree. Our Disneyland down here is Heaven, only a trillion times better!! I heard someone compare grief to glitter. Once it’s there, it never quite goes away. Though you think it’s gone, it shows up on certain days. In corners, underneath your heart. I think you just inspired today’s post. 💗
    Happy Birthday Kylie! (Though I know you don’t celebrate it in Heaven.) We remember because of the glitter you left. ☺️ My mom used to talk about the celebrations up there when
    someone arrives hope you know each other now.
    Thanks Mark. This was one of your greats! Though they all poke my heart!!

  2. I’m trying to type through the tears, Mark. so this might not be the most articulate response but there goes.
    As a father this post has ripped my heart in two.
    As a person this post has inspired me to be a better man.

    My heart goes out to you and yours, Mark.
    And Kylie?
    I hope to meet you in Heaven someday.

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