Today is the day Alex would have turned 19. It’s his first birthday since his death, his first birthday that we shall not celebrate with him – but without him. Today the pain is stronger than it has been lately, because today we are being confronted with the fact that Alex will always be 18 years old. Today we realize that he will not have any more birthdays, not see his sister grow up, not go out and celebrate with his friends.
My son was not around long enough. Alex’s death is a loss that we will experience for a lifetime. A mother always prays for her children and wants to keep them safe. It has been hard to let go of my son. And it seems like there is a part of my heart and soul that is still missing.
Alex, A Beautiful Soul
It occurs to me though, if I spent my life grieving, then I’ll be missing the opportunity to celebrate the life of my son.
Today on his birthday and every day I really want to honor his memory. Actually, our family has a million memories of Alex.
When he was very young he seemed so curious, excited and interested in how things worked. He had a very inquisitive nature. He was a serious child. But he had a shy sense of humor and he could always make me laugh.
Alex was an athlete. He always wanted to be the best. But he had grace and humility. He appreciated sports and he formed deep attachments to his teammates.
He was loving and kind. And he was deeply loved by almost everyone that met him. Alex was almost too good in some ways. I don’t think he had a mean bone in his body.
He was interested in the workings of the universe. He was a bright spirit. He loved the stars and the ocean. He appreciated beauty and music. He was well loved and he knew that he was loved.
I will always miss my son, but I will also be grateful that I had him. And when I look up into the stars or seek peace in nature, I can feel his presence. I want to honor his life. I appreciate that in many ways he is still a part of me. One of the best parts.
Alex was in awe of the ocean
Alex loved the ocean
But today can be more than a day of sadness. I believe today can be a celebration. A celebration of life, a celebration of love and above all, a celebration of choice.
During his 18 years on Earth, Alex was full of life. Enjoying his favorite sports and activities, as well as time with his friends. He was honest, curious and brave. Today I will celebrate the life Alex has lived, the people he has inspired, loved and touched.
I am grateful for the love Alex has for me (still has) and the love I feel for him, that gets me through difficult moments. I realize that the most important lesson we can learn in this lifetime is love, not only to love our family and friends but to love others that cross our path. To love others, our environment and live in harmony.
The one thing we all have in common as humans, whether we come from a rich background, or don’t have access to clean drinking water, what we do have is our choices. Many – mainly the bigger – choices may seem way out of reach, but every day there are many small ones.Today, I can choose to be sad, to submerge myself in the grieving of my only son. But I can also choose to celebrate my son’s memory and his life. To celebrate the choice he has made, because he believed it was the right choice. And who am I to say it was not? So let today be a day of true celebrations. Today, I will celebrate Alex’ life, my love for him, his love for me, all his big and small choices… But above all, today I will celebrate his birthday.Because 19 years ago, when I looked into his eyes for the first time, it was a happy day. Today, even though I haven’t looked into his eyes for months, just the thought of it brings me joy. Alex is now looking with me, through my eyes. And he even has given me something I will always cherish: new eyes to look through. His love and mine, his eyes and mine, his choices and mine – they all merge together, live together, celebrate together. So today I will celebrate my son’s birthday with him, memories of him and his spirit with me.
So Happy Birthday Alex…until we meet again.