Today is my birthday, and the first anniversary of my mom’s passing from cancer.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve wondered what this day would be like — how does someone commemorate a day linked to death and life, pain and happiness? It’s been a difficult, and unique, thing to consider for me.
Grief is complicated and challenging, and we all have different ways of managing it after losing a loved one. Since last September, I’ve tried making more of an effort to do acts of charity (like giving blood, donating to nonprofits) in memory of my mom, who was the most endlessly giving person I’ve ever known.
I initially thought of making another donation today, but I wanted to do something in-person this year (which also allowed for social distancing).
So, I took some of the money I saved up for today, split it into $20 bills, then rode my motorcycle around the city and passed them out to unsuspecting strangers. I gave one to a man waiting for his car outside of a mechanic, an older woman sweeping outside of her trailer home, a man waiting under the hot sun for a bus ride, and a few others. Yes, this was completely random, and I’ve never done anything like this before. I think my mom would appreciate that aspect of it.
Grief is hard, but giving is easy. Helping others can be a way to alleviate that grief, if even for a day. I love and miss you, mom. I hope I can someday be as good a person you were.