Another first without Dad

My daughter’s birthday today. Dad has always been part of my children’s birthdays. I was crying yesterday wrapping her presents. Last year Dad came over and we sat in the front room and had cake and the photos pop up on my phone and I feel my heart will shatter.
These firsts are so very painful. My daughter is only 6 so I really want to be jolly and give her a good day. But these family occasions are times where Dad’s absence is so loud and I feel so bereft. Just wanted to express that here in the hope I can contain some of the grief in this chat with people who understand to get through the day with a brave-ish face. Thanks for listening.


Your post has resonated so much as I lost Dad 18 months ago and the year of firsts was so painful, with the ‘happiest’ days, the days that should be joyful, sometimes the hardest of all. Their absence is so huge on the occasions. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. On days like this you can put yourself under pressure to be happy and worry you’re feelings are going to spoil the day but your daughter being 6 is probably very good at being fully in the moment and if there’s presents & cake she’s going to have a wonderful day while you miss him not only for you but for each of the family, your daughter and for him missing out. I hope there’ll be plenty of moments today when there’s comfort from being together and watching her joy and times when he’ll feel close because our Dads are part of us and always will be & nothing can change that. Lots of love & luck for today will be thinking of you and a huge happy birthday to your girl x


@magenta these are the days when the grief is sharp. The kind of occasion which is so very poignant. All you can do is acknowledge the sadness but try your best to stay present and feel the joy of the occasion. Sending best wishes to you…xx

Thank you both so much for your understanding and empathetic replies. I really appreciate it. @Sarah.G I’m so sorry for the loss of your Dad. Losing a parent is so monumental. I’m sure my year of firsts will also be similar, the most ‘joyful’ days become the most painful. But as you say, my daughter has presents and cake, she’s already enjoyed her morning opening gifts. I’m doing okay at staying present so far, fingers crossed I can do the same for her party later on.
Thank you both again for taking the time to write to me, it means a lot xxx



Sending you my best wishes and strength today.
Firsts are always so horrible!
My Birthday this weekend and the first without my Dad so I totally understand your feelings!

Wishing your Daughter a very happy Birthday and hope you can enjoy some of the day as that’s what your Dad would have wanted!

To give you some hope the anniversaries do become slightly easier, just had 2nd Mothering Sunday without Mum and it was a lot better than the first.

Take care


Gosh. Your message is so familiar. I lost Mum at the end of september last year. My lil boy is turning 6 tomorrow. it’s his first without her and it’s so triggering. My mental health is so up and down.

Sending love. xxxxx

Hi @AnneO , I am so sorry for the loss of your Mum. Birthdays are such triggering times where we miss our parents more intensely. I won’t deny that the day was hard and I shed tears, but I also gave my daughter a lovely birthday and I am glad I did as I feel that honours Dad best of all, I have to keep on living for Dad.

I really hope that amidst the sadness you have moments of happiness to enjoy with your little one. A big happy birthday to your boy. X