You may feel immune to sympathy message or expressions of condolences if you’ve lost a child. You may feel so overcome with grief that you find that you may need help from a professional.
It's fruitless to ask why this happened to your child. There probably aren't any answers that will give you peace. Instead, spend some time reading and reflecting on the loss of your child. Here are some quotes or poems to help you get started.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Quotes that Say “Happy Birthday in Heaven, Son”
- Poems that Say “Happy Birthday in Heaven, Son”
- How to Say “Happy Birthday in Heaven, Son” on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter
- “Happy Birthday in Heaven, Son” Songs
- Private “Happy Birthday in Heaven, Son” Letter Ideas
Quotes that Say "Happy Birthday in Heaven, Son"
Your son's birthday and the day he died may be particularly painful for you. You may dread when these anniversaries approach each year because you haven't figured out how to commemorate the life of your son.
Here are some quotes about losing someone who’s important to you.
- "Memories saturate my heart and the story of you spills from my eyes." — Grace Andren, Poet
- "Any woman who'd ever lost a child knew of the hollowness that remained within the soul." — Brittainy C. Cherry, Author
- "We do not ‘get over’ a death. We learn to carry the grief and integrate the loss in our lives. In our hearts, we carry those who have died. We grieve and we love. We remember." ― Nathalie Himmelrich, Author
- "Life is the only thing which can never be replaced when lost." — Lailah Gifty Akita, Author
- "Only through the significant loss of my loved ones have I truly begun to live. When their eyes closed, mine were opened." ― Angie Corbett-Kuiper, Author
- "You don't cross my mind. You live in it.” — Anonymous
- "As long as I live, as long as I breathe, with every beat of my heart, you will not be forgotten." — Angela Miller, Author
- "What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes part of us." — Helen Keller, Activist
- "The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?" — Kahlil Gibran, Poet
- "No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear." — C.S. Lewis, author
- "There's no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were." — Dwight D. Eisenhower, Former President
- "Grief is the price we pay for love." — Queen Elizabeth II
- “Grief is still my advisor; sometimes it is a friend and reminds me of my humble place in the universe, opening life to the mysterious gifts of awe and gratitude. At other times it casts me down and turns my heart of stone.” – Beth W. McLeod, author
- “Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, // May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.” – Unknown
- “Every evening I turn my worries over to God. He’s going to be up all night anyway.” – Mary C. Crowley, CEO of Home Interiors and Gifts
- “Sorrow makes us all children again – destroys all differences of intellect. The wisest know nothing.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, author
- “A cut finger is numb before it bleeds; it bleeds before it hurts, it hurts until it begins to heal; it forms a scab and itches until finally, the scab is gone and a small scar is left where once there was a wound. Grief is the deepest wound you ever had. Like a cut finger, it goes through stages, and leaves a scar.” – Author Unknown
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Poems that Say "Happy Birthday in Heaven, Son"
Poets have the gift of being able to put feelings into words. Literary poets can bring solace to some, while others may receive more comfort from the rhyming verses often published on greeting cards.
Here is a collection of poetry titles for you to search online. Hopefully, you will find one that describes how you feel as you approach your son's birthday.
"Half Of My Heart Is Gone" by Barbara J. Rouse
Barbara J. Rouse wrote this poem after losing her 29-year-old son. She speaks to her son and tells him how much she wishes she could see him again.
"A Picture Of You" by Deborah Robinson
In this poem, the author wishes she could have taken the place of her son when he passed away. This is a widespread thought for parents who lose a child.
"When God Comforted Me" by Colleen McLean
"When God Comforted Me" ends with the line, "I promise he's waiting here, when you get to heaven." This poem speaks to the hope that many parents have about eternal life. We all hope that we will be able to see our loved ones again when we die and go to heaven.
"Reality" by Denise Tiburcio
Denise Tiburcio wrote this poem during a sleepless night after the death of her son. She describes how writing gives her some comfort because she is able to express her sorrow and share it with others.
"A Tribute To Tyrone" by Kily Dunbar
Although this poem was written by an aunt and not a mother or father, the sentiment is the same. The speaker in this poem is broken-hearted over the loss of someone who is gone before his time.
"I Love You, Son" by Ambika Adhikari Tiwari
Each stanza of this poem starts with the line, "My dear son." It is clear to see how much the author misses his loved one who passed away too soon.
"Long, Long Summer Day" by Patricia L. Cisco
This poem was written by a mother who lost her son unexpectedly on a summer day. She writes this poem to help explain a mother's grief, which is much different than other types of loss.
"For The Need Of You" by Deborah Robinson
Deborah Robinson wrote another poem on this list about losing her son. In this poem, she speaks to her son, Liam. She tells Liam how much see mourns for him, and she tells her audience how dark her heart has become at the loss of her son.
"One Year Less" by Cheryl McDonald
In her poem, McDonald speaks to parents who have lost one child while others survive.
"Michael" by Bobbie J. Ripple
In this poem, Ripple talks to the Lord about the death of a child. He asks that God lets the child know how much he was loved and cherished.
“Time does not bring relief” by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Some people search for poems that bring solace and make them feel better about their loved one’s death. This is not an example of a feel-good poem. It begins: “Time does not bring relief; you all have lied // Who told me time would ease me of my pain!”
“Separation” by W.S. Merwin
Grief poems don’t have to be long. Here’s this one in its entirety:
“Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.”
“On My First Sonne” by Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson was a contemporary of William Shakespeare. In this poem, Jonson laments the death of his seven-year-old son, who he labels as “his best piece of poetrie.”
“The First Spring Day” by Christina Rossetti
It’s hard to imagine being happy again when you are under a cloud of grief. In this poem, the speaker wonders if spring will ever really come for her on Earth. It ends:
“So Spring must dawn again with warmth and bloom, // Or in this world, or in the world to come: // Sing, voice of Spring, // Till I too blossom and rejoice and sing.”
“If Tears Could Build a Stairway” by Unknown
This poem is often found on prints to hang on a wall and sympathy cards. It describes a grieving person wanting to be able to go to heaven and bring back their loved one. The poem ends with this stanza:
“Since you’ll never be forgotten
I pledge to you today
A hallowed place within my heart
Is where you’ll always stay.”
Read our guide to the best funeral poems if you're looking for more.
How to Say "Happy Birthday in Heaven, Son" on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter
When you lose someone, you worry that others may forget about the life of the person you cared about so much. You will do anything possible to keep that person's memory alive. Some turn to social media to ask friends and family to keep their loved ones in their thoughts.
Others may post birthday messages to deceased family members to let their followers know that they are still grieving. You may reach out to your social network if you are feeling particularly lonely or troubled and need a few kind words to help you get through the day.
Here are some sample posts that you may consider sharing on your son's birthday.
“Today would have Tom's 34th birthday. I continue to struggle with the loss of my beloved son, and I ask each of you to hug your children a little more tightly tonight. Life is fleeting, and we must keep our loved ones close.”
“Happy birthday in heaven, son. I can't believe it has been three years since we lost you. Your dad and I want you to know how much we miss your catapults into our bed every Sunday morning. We miss seeing you crash your Tonka truck into your sister's block tower. We miss your golden curls and bright, blue eyes. We miss you, son.”
“Today would have been Mike's 43rd birthday. To commemorate the day, we ask all that knew and loved him to wear a Blackhawk's T-shirt or jersey today. Also, if you are so inclined, drink a Bud Light in Mike's honor while listening to his favorite bands. We miss him so much, and we know others do too.”
“Happy birthday in heaven to my son, Peter. To celebrate Peter's birthday, we ask that each of you complete an act of kindness to a stranger. Pay someone's bill at the Starbucks drive-through. Help carry a neighbor's groceries inside the house. Buy a child a book. Donate your time to a homeless shelter. Peter was such a kind soul. Let's celebrate his life by spreading kindness today.”
“Happy birthday in heaven to my son, Oscar. Please comment below with your favorite memory of my dear boy. I love hearing your stories about his life and the impact he made on the world while he was here.”
“Queen Elizabeth once said, ‘Grief is the price we pay for love.’ Although I miss my son, especially today, on what would have been his 23rd birthday, I am so thankful for the time we had with him. Jude was all smiles. He was kind. He was a friend to everyone. We are grateful for his life, even though it was too short.”
“We are celebrating the life of Michael today by gathering at Pete’s Pub at 8 p.m. Please join us if you can as we toast Michael’s birthday.”
“Jorge, we miss you every day! I can’t believe that it’s been 13 years since we last celebrated your birthday together. If only I would have known that it would be your last birthday on Earth – I would have bought you that dirt bike that you had asked for. I love you and think of you every day!”
“Happy birthday in Heaven to our dear son Stuart! I’m spending the day listening to Stuart’s favorite songs. Please forgive me in advance for all of my posts today, as I would like to share some of Stuart’s favorite songs with you.”
“Sammy loved collecting quotes. He hung them throughout his classroom when he taught English at Smith High School. After he passed, his team gave us a stack of the quotes he had displayed. This quote hung over his desk: ‘The healthiest response to life is joy.’ – Mark Twain.
Now that Sammy is gone, this faded piece of paper displaying this Mark Twain quote is one of my biggest treasures. It’s hanging over my mantle. Every day I read it and think about the joy Sammy spread throughout his short life. Happy birthday to Sammy!”
“I don’t often write about my grief, but since today would have been Jerry’s birthday, I thought I would post some thoughts. I’m not going to lie and say that things have gotten better since Jerry died. The reality is that I sometimes still struggle to get out of bed in the morning. I never understood the toll that grief could take until I lost my son.”
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“Happy Birthday in Heaven, Son” Songs
People sometimes turn to music during times of grief. They may listen to songs about loss to be reminded that they aren’t alone in this journey. Others may turn to songs that remind them of the deceased. Still others may listen to songs about Heaven and the afterlife to remind themselves that their loved ones are in a better place.
Here are some songs that you might consider listening to after the death of your son. But, of course, not every piece will speak to every person.
“Drink a Beer” by Luke Bryan
In this song, the speaker reflects on the death of a friend. It describes hearing about a loved one’s death and the need to be alone to digest the news. This may describe the way you grieved the loss of your son.
“Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton lost his son when he fell out of a window. This song was written in response to the loss of his son. It includes the following lyrics:
“Beyond the door
There’s peace, I’m sure
And I know there’ll be no more
Tears in heaven.”
“Lullaby” by The Chicks
This simple, sweet song is by the band formerly known as The Dixie Chicks. The lyrics of the chorus are as follows:
“How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
’Cause I’m never, never giving you up.”
“See You Again” by Carrie Underwood
This song begins:
“Said goodbye, turned around
And you were gone, gone, gone
Faded into the setting sun
But I won’t cry
’Cause I know I’ll never be lonely
For you are the stars to me
You are the light I follow.”
The song was released in 2012 and won the CMT award for “Video of the Year.”
“Baby Mine” by Allison Krauss
There are different versions of this song. While it isn’t about the death of a child, it may remind you of your son.
“Beautiful Boy” by John Lennon
Again, this song isn’t about the death of a child. However, it may be a bittersweet reminder of the child you lost.
“Angel” by Sarah McLachlan
Sarah McLachlan wrote this song in response to the death of Jonathan Melvoin, the keyboard player for The Smashing Pumpkins. The death was caused by a heroin overdose.
Private “Happy Birthday in Heaven, Son” Letter Ideas
You already know this, but sometimes it’s good to be reminded: People grieve differently. Some find the most comfort by sharing their pain with others, perhaps through a Facebook post. Others prefer to keep their grief more private.
As you approach your son’s birthday, you may have a lot of anxiety about how you will spend the day. Some grief counselors say that writing in a journal may help those in mourning analyze the complicated feelings that come with grief. Here are some samples to get you started.
- “Today I feel angry that you aren’t here to celebrate your birthday. I’m mad that you were reckless that night in May. I’m angry that you chose to get behind the wheel even though I would have come to pick you up from that party. I’m angry that you cared so little for your life or the life of others that you took that risk.”
- “Do you remember your tenth birthday when we took all your friends to that waterpark? I was so proud of you for inviting James. You were so awesome with him! I was so proud that you stood up for James when your other friends made fun of how scared he was of the giant waterslide. You even moved the whole group to the smaller slide so James would feel more included.”
- “I know it’s unfair to my friends, but I can hardly stand to be around them anymore. It seems like they spend their time complaining about their children and grandchildren. I just want to scream at them, ‘At least your kids are still alive!’ Everyone says I need to get out more, but it’s just too hard to be around people.”
- “I went into your room today. I hadn’t been in since you died, but your dad said we should start cleaning it out if we are going to put the house on the market next spring. It’s hard to know what to keep. Logically, I know that your stuff isn’t ‘you.’ But I’m having the hardest time getting rid of anything.”
- “Sometimes I worry that I’ll forget those characteristics that made you unique, so today, on the anniversary of your birth, I’m going to try to record memories that your son will want to know about you someday.”
- “Brad was a ‘numbers guy.’ He loved sports because it allowed him to remember statistics – scores, number of wins in a season, player numbers, etc. He especially loved the Chicago Cubs, and one of the happiest moments of his life occurred when they won the World Series.”
» MORE: Take your planning one document at a time.
Facing Your Son's Birthday
As you face the birthday of your son who is deceased, consider joining an in-person or online support group. There are many others out there who are hurting like you are, and sometimes it's helpful to share your grief with others.
Perhaps your grief is not as painful as it once was. Even though you have learned to survive without your son, your experiences may be helpful for others who are not coping as well. Give of your time and energy and help others in memory of the child you lost.