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Do I Remind Dad of His Deceased Wife's Birthday?



"My departed mother’s birthday is in two weeks. When she was alive, I reminded my father each year, as he was known to be a bit absentminded about things like that.

Now that Mom is gone, I’m wondering if I should continue to remind my father of her birthday. I realize she is no longer with us, but wonder if Dad would still like to be made aware. Is the day one he should still commemorate? What are your thoughts?" - READER



You sound like the keeper of important milestones in your family. It’s always nice to have someone like you to keep track of dates; you have been a huge help to your father in remembering things he normally does not.

Though your mother has passed, you continue to track the dates that were important during her life. It’s what you are used to doing, and I suggest you continue to track such milestone dates for yourself and those you love.

As for your father, though—I’m not sure they hold the same importance. Reminding him that it would have been his wife’s birthday could bring about positive memories of her, or it could remind him of his loss. I wonder what your expected outcome is if you remind him. Do you want him to celebrate in some way? Do you want him to visit her grave if there is one? Do you want him to reminisce with you?

If you expect action on his part, make sure it’s something he also wants. You could even just ask your father if he desires such reminders. You wouldn’t want him to recognize special days just to please you. On the other hand, it might be important to continue to remind him of days like your mother’s birthday if he requests it.

It’s wise of you to think carefully before taking action. I wish you the best on working with your father.