C: Cake and Condolences

How about if we start off today with a delicious slice of birthday cake…?

BirthdayShhhh – don’t tell anyone that I tried the icing.

Tonight we celebrated my nephew’s 6th birthday party.  It was a fun, light-hearted party.  Aside from pure, innocent, 6-year-old happiness, the best parts were: 1) seeing my 89-year-old grandma wearing a paper Go Diego Go! birthday hat; and 2) the cake.

 Cake Grandma

This was the first time that my family had gotten together since my mom’s funeral.  It’s only been a little over a week and we are all still grieving.  Condolence cards are still arriving…


….but the best card tonight was the one read by a six-year-old that said “Happy Birthday.” 

The party was missing a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a friend.  Still, life goes on.  There is no use sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves when there are six candles on a cake, waiting to be wished upon. 

Grief does not have to be all-consuming.  People experience grief and cope with it in all types of different ways…even in ways that involve cake and ice cream.  There is no shame or guilt in feeling happiness during these periods of our lives. 

Grief is the price that we pay for love.  Just because we are grieving doesn’t mean that we should put a hold on loving each other and celebrating each others’ joys.  Some days we may wake up in the morning, pull the covers back over our heads, and cry.  We will want to be left alone.  But then we will eventually get up…walk into the kitchen…make a cup of tea…see the left-over birthday cake on the Go Diego Go! paper plate…peel back the plastic wrap…and stick our fingers in the icing.  After all, nobody’s looking. 

Cake and Condolences…what a Combination for today’s inspiration by the Letter C.

Have you ever grieved?  What are some of the things you did to move through it more easily?  Did this post make you hungry for birthday cake?

Sneak peak at tomorrow – The Dummy and the Department of Defense.  Be sure to check back!

30 responses to this post.

  1. Grieving, even when it’s deep, welcomes moments of celebration of the blessings that remain. Pain is mitigated by joy. I enjoyed reading your post. Blessings, Tracy…


  2. too lovely. grief, love, all blended in. thank u for sharing. keep on.


  3. Hi Tracy .. this is a wonderful post – blessings and peace at this time .. with thoughts Hilary


  4. My daughter was born 6 hours after my mother’s mother passed. I understand. Cake and condolences.


  5. Posted by 1959duke on April 4, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Sorry about your pain. People have to handle the grieving process in a way that works best for them. For most people when they look back on someone that is gone they think about the good times and not all the small junk that happens in life.


    • Those books “don’t sweat the small stuff…” In honor of you, we should create a “don’t sweat the small junk” publication. Great comment.


  6. My Grandma was an important part of my life. With her there was always laughter and love and I miss her yet. She was one of many I lost over a six year period and it has been 25 years but we all still talk and laugh and remember daily about her. What a nice tribute you did!


    • Great to hear that you are still celebrating your grandma’s life. My mom was the first person I’ve lost close to me that had a life to celebrate – and I plan on doing just that as the years go by. Peace.


  7. Yes, life continues all around us and we just have to keep on. Hugs. Lovely post.


  8. Posted by pattisj on April 4, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Losing my mom was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. She left us suddenly, unexpected, with no time to prepare our hearts and minds for what was coming. I don’t know that there is a way to move through it easily. You just keep moving, and one day, it doesn’t hurt any more. So sorry for your loss.


    • I don’t know what would be more difficult – having time, or not having time. Having time to say goodbye gives a sense of peaceful closure, but it’s a difficult process to endure. My sincere sympathy for the loss of your mother – I agree that it feels impossible to find a way “to move through it easily.” Cake makes everything better – momentarily – until it shows up on your hips!


      • Posted by pattisj on April 4, 2011 at 10:19 pm

        Cake is like that, isn’t it?
        Having time was easier for me, when my dad passed; the sudden shock when losing mom was much harder to take. Or is it harder losing a mother? Hard to tell, and maybe it’s different for each person. It does get better, and sometimes you’ll wonder if it ever will. My sympathy to you, Tracy.


  9. Posted by Andie on April 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Yes, I have grieved. So far, I have grieved for three of the people that at certain times in my life were the ones that were closet to me. A couple of years ago when a friend from high school passed away, my grief was immediate. By the time I went to the funeral I was there to celebrate her life. We all grieve differently and on our own schedule. For me, grief has always been different and through time and awareness I have found that I now grieve in a way that not all people will understand unless they have gone through similar events. I tend to focus on celebration of one’s life. I thank God that we had them on this earth for as long as we did. My gosh, what a gift He gave us!

    At times, I still miss my Dad terribly and I long to see his face. I wish he were here to give me advice and I wish he were here to play with his grandkids.I wish I could hear his dumb jokes.I wish he could meet the people that are most special to me, but in a way, I believe he has.I don’t get stuck in wishing. I choose to get “stuck” in faith. As I have matured, I have come to understand him. I now know what his advice would be (in essence, I still hear him). I tell stories about him (in essence, I still keep him with me) and I take the good DNA that he passed on to me and I work at making it alive in me (in essence, people are able to know him through knowing me). Do I long to see him? Yes. But, I do see him my friend. Every day.


  10. First, I LOVE the pictures that you share on this post, Tracy!

    Adorable photo of your grandmother!

    YUP…this post made me VERY hungry for birthday cake. That’s actually my favorite cake in the world. I wanna just stick my index finger in that cake and SCOOP up some of that delicious-looking icing – yummy!

    Yes, as you know, I have experienced grief. And I think the most helpful thing that moved me through it, was allowing myself to embrace whatever I was feeling. Sometimes I would burst into tears in a Hallmark gift store, whenever I saw Father’s Day cards for a few years after my father passed away. Grief is strange, because sometime it hits you like a ton of bricks, and then other times it seems to wane.

    Sending ya a big hug, my friend….

    ((((( Tracy )))))

    P.S. I’m enjoying this A-Z Challenge.


    • Thanks for clarifying *which* finger you would use – the index finger is just fine – hahahahahahaaa. Sometimes people just have to let us grievers wallow. Wallowing is necessary – so long as it doesn’t go on tooooo long. Wish I could send you cake through cyberspace, Ron.


  11. I’m sorry you lost your mother, Tracy. And I’m glad you had her for as long as you did. Sounds like you are balancing things nicely.

    I lost a college boyfriend in a car crash. The following semester offered a course titled “Origins of Jewish Humor.” Late BF was Jewish and taught me Woody Allen, etc.

    I learned so much in that class, made great friends, and really felt it was a productive tribute to a wonderful guy.


  12. Oh! And many hugs full of cake to you in your time of need, Tracy.


  13. Children remind us that life goes on and that we live on through them.

    Whem my father passed away, we joked about the good times and the bad. I quit my job and went to work for the Girls and Boys Club that summer. It kept me close to home and very active. Sitting and moping are the two worst things to do when grieving.

    Thanks for the post, Tracy.


    • Oh, good for you! Easter Seals, the Boys and Girls Club and Big eBrothers and Sisters are organizations that do such great work with our youth. Kids do remind us that life goes on.


  14. Looks like it was a fabulous party.


  15. What fun pictures!
    Yes I have grieved, as have probably all of us. Kids usually don’t understand grief. Especially when it’s their birthday.
    And yes I really would like some of that birthday cake.

    Contrary to my usual practice of subscribing to comments, to save time during the challenge I will not be doing so at the moment. If you want to respond to my comment , please email me directly from your email notification for the comment.
    Thanks. And I truly appreciate your efforts.

    Tossing It Out


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