How to Celebrate a Birthday as a Widow

How to Celebrate a Birthday as a Widow

Do you still celebrate a birthday as a widow? When I became a widow, there wasn’t an instruction manual. There were no rules about celebrating milestones after your husband dies, especially not birthdays. Birthdays are a “celebration of life.” What about when your person is no longer here to celebrate with you?

Survivor’s Guilt got to me. Should I still celebrate my birthday in New Orleans? I know what my husband would say. YES! A part of me just didn’t feel right celebrating my birthday and “living my best life” without him. This wasn’t my first birthday without him, but this was the first birthday that I consciously decided to celebrate as a widow. Birthdays were a BIG deal for us. The planning would begin early. Trips booked. Dinner reservations made. Flowers ordered. Spa day booked. He “understood the assignment” before it was given. Of course, I couldn’t let him down.

So, now that I had made the decision to celebrate, what was I going to do in New Orleans? We were still in the middle of a pandemic with high cases AND Hurricane Ida had just blown through the city. Local businesses were still working through logistics to reopen. Power was just being restored to neighborhoods. My dinner reservations were canceled because the restaurant was not going to be open. The spa was closed on my birthday. There was a 90% chance of rain and Tropical Storm Nicholas was headed or way. This was NOT how I envisioned it. You know what they say about making plans…

I decided to still take my vacation time off and celebrate the ENTIRE week, because using your PTO is self-care. I deserved to celebrate all of my WINS. 41 was tough. As if losing my husband wasn’t enough, then came the pandemic. This is HOW I decided to show myself some love and appreciation.

Wednesday: Drinks & Dinner at Arnaud’s French 75 Bar

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Thursday: Brunch with one of my Best Friends at Apolline

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Friday: Spa Day at the Roosevelt

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Saturday: Tea at Windsor Court

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Saturday: Drinks at Chandelier Bar

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Saturday: Relaxing Bath & Great Night’s Sleep at Four Seasons

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Sunday: Champagne for Breakfast in Bed and Miss River

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Widows, I just want you to know that it is OKAY to celebrate life. Celebrating does not mean that you have forgotten about them, nor does it mean that you aren’t grieving. Yes, you can grieve and still be happy. I made sure to incorporate things that we both loved and enjoyed in my celebration. I even wore his Saints jersey!

How will you embrace your next milestone?


  1. Thank you so much gor being an inspiration. This message serves as a reminder that I must find a way to live in the present and enjoy life. I’m just here and there is no satisfaction. I feel dead without my husband.

  2. Greetings;

    My mother gave me an article you penned, and immediately I was LIT! I listened to an episode of Widows on the FLY and I am grateful for my mom guiding me to your blog and other social media outreaches.
    My journey as a widow begin April 28th 2021. My husband had a massive heart-attack. I miss him daily, yet as a military spouse I’ve learned to resiliently March Forth, and he taught me soooo much.

    He and I are eternal lovers, great friends and he is the FATHER of our dynamic children (28/24). Your statement ‘you can grieve and still be happy’ is so liberating for me. I am loving myself as I continue to rediscover all the dimensions of me! But when I mentioned ‘dating again’ my siblings energy towards me changed, my children remained energized and encouraged me to date, and trust me…I am doing the later. I consider myself a young widow and feel vibrant as I am adjusting hopefully. I do have a ONE male companion and I also have several others interested in me….(what can I say?)…lol.

    Please continue to inspire young widows like me to be FLY. (mature widows too) I will share your stories with other widows I know and continue to become a widow who is “LIT in LITTLE ROCK” Widow-Ladi Inspired & Transforming!

    Thank you so much and continued success to you my “NOLA BOUGIE” Queen.

    Blissfully yours,
    Coco B.

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