When Greg died, I had just printed out invitations to my 40th birthday party which was supposed to be held 31 days later …. but wasn’t…. for obvious reasons.
I am not a person who likes to host parties. I think the last birthday party I helped organise for myself was my 30th birthday when we lived in a small country town and all but one of the party-goers walked to out house.
This time, we had booked a few tables at a local restaurant that overlooked the bay and had a dance floor and live band. I had bought an outfit and was getting excited to see all my friends.
… I still got to wear that outfit and see all my friends though.
Just not for my party.
There was no dancing.
Instead, there were lots of tears.
Anyway, my 50th is still over 7 years away and I am thinking I still need to finally have that party that I didn’t get to have …. but not for me.
…This coming February, Greg SHOULD have turned 50.
It seems such a surprise to say that number in the same breath as his name. He always looked and acted much younger than his age. He was such a fit, vibrant, adventurous, funny soul and he loved a good party.
I don’t want to replicate the wake where nobody could meet my eyes … when they rose from the floor that is. Where everyone spoke softly and drank cups of tea. Where the world had turned slightly foggy and surreal and I was there without really being there.
I want to have a party that celebrates the bloke that he was. I want his old friends to come and I want the stories to flow. I want the kids to meet some of his old friends and hear what an amazing Dad they had.
At the moment, I am leaning towards a general invitation for friends and family to meet us down at the beach for fish and chips – something we used to do as a family.
Come as you are.
BYO folding chairs, kite and frisbee.
Just like he used to love doing.
Maybe I am odd for wanting to mark a birthday for someone who can’t be there.
Maybe this will seem inappropriate to some people.
Maybe I am asking for the grief monster to rear its ugly head and smack me back down.
But maybe I am onto something that will help us all.
I don’t really know.
But it feels right to me.