Posted by: susanideus | November 25, 2012

Happy Birthday. Harold

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahlil Gibran

These words have never rung more true in my life than these last few days–Thanksgiving Day, as I sat surrounded by my family, yet oddly alone–and again today as the day dawns on Harold’s birthday. For in the midst of our gathering, there is a huge gap–Harold, my best half, the love of my life is not here. Still, we celebrate life, just by being together. We carry on in his absence because we know every day we can be together is to be cherished. And all that we are as a family is in large part due to him–who he was, his love for us, his amazing love for life. This year, this holiday, this birthday, the grief is still too new, the hurt too deep for that to heal the pain and loss…but it is a balm that begins the process. It is a start that we remember amid the tears the joy and the laughter and the love–so much love–that he brought into each of our lives.

Some say a break from old traditions is best when you suffer such a devastating loss. Perhaps that might have some merit, but for this Thanksgiving Day, we chose to stay with established routine. There was pain in doing that…Harold always did that for me, this is something Dad always helped me do, Dad would have loved this game, this was always Dad’s favorite… But I think that for this time, we needed that–not to try to eradicate the reminders but to fully embrace them, to acknowledge that while he is physically gone, he will always live in our hearts and in our memories and in the very core of our beings.

Still, it hurts and that hurt is raw and the grief is still right on the surface and still bubbles right over. It hurt me to see the anguish as my younger daughter, missing her daddy so much, just dissolved in tears. It hurts to feel the undercurrent of loss and sadness. There are no magic panaceas, nothing I can do to make the pain go away, for myself or for those I love. This is a time we must go through.

But Gibran is absolutely right–the pain and grief and intense sense of loss would not be so great had we not loved him so dearly and been loved so deeply and so completely by this dear man, and been so touched in every fiber of our beings by who he was and how he lived.

Happy Birthday, Harold, my love, my best friend, my delight…



  1. We have changed traditions, somewhat, over the years since my parents’ passing, because, for example, my children are not as faith-oriented as my mother was. But for grown kids, tradition holds an infinite charm and grace in allowing them to feel the continuity and the blessings bestowed in the past that move us gently into the future. Loved this posting, and your introspection!

    • My Johanna is especially tied to traditions…normally. This year, it was hard for her. On Christmas, it will be just the 2 of us for a short time, since we both have to work the days before and after. So we’re planning a simple dinner with my brother on Christmas Eve and we’re going to treat ourselves to the opening of LES MISERABLES on Christmas Day before she has to drive home. One of our favorites. I think Harold would approve.

  2. Beautiful post, Susan. Lovely tribute to all that Harold means to you and your family. Big hugs from me to you and your girls

    • Thanks, Lee…for the comments & the hugs.

  3. A beautiful post, and the quotation from Gibran is exactly right. Even when our traditions change, speaking of the people we love keeps them close and makes them part of the new..

  4. Ja, dieser Eugen *duck-mich-fu00fcr-den-Fall-das-Eugen-dies-liest*… tststs – den soll einer verstehenud83dude09n*duck-mich-nochmal-da-ich-ja-auc Click

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