It’s tragic when a mother loses a child. Although it’s sad and hard to go through the pain, when other children are involved, life has to go on.
For a 17-year-old girl posting on Reddit, her twin brother’s death impacted her entire life, and a recent decision to move forward without the shadow of his memory left her parents unwilling to accept her decision.
A teenage girl doesn’t want to share her birthday with the memory of her dead twin brother anymore.
Her mother did not handle the death of her child well and went into a deep depression, likely exacerbated by the reminder this teen girl afforded her of the child she lost.
As the years went on and the girl grew older, it was a tradition on her birthday each year to blow out candles that were for her and her brother.
Although it was heartwarming to want to keep the other twin’s memory alive, the girl has wondered since she was just eight years old why they kept celebrating him when he was no longer there.
Photo: Lysenko Andrii / Shutterstock
On her 16th birthday, she experienced a new form of celebration that represented her as an individual. Although she was not with family on her birthday due to being in the hospital, her grandfather wished her a happy birthday.
Once he left the room, she realized how meaningful it was for someone to just acknowledge her on her birthday. There was no mention of her twin’s birthday, and she enjoyed it.
She felt guilty in her enjoyment and turned to her parents to explain how she felt. Her parents decided not to participate in the conversation and pushed it off to the side.
She didn’t bring up her desire to celebrate her birthday without her brother until she turned 17.
Her grandfather asked her what flavor of cake she wanted and she immediately felt the independence of the birthday she wanted.
She asked her grandfather to put only 17 candles on the cake just for her, but her parents were displeased. She cried to them, saying, “He’s not even here, and I am.”
Photo: Gladskikh Tatina / Shutterstock
There was a lot of shouting in the kitchen that day between her, her parents, and her grandfather, who was trying to defend his granddaughter. She recalled that her parents called her “selfish” and “self-centered” for wanting a day that celebrated only her.
Since then, she has been living with her grandfather.
A child should not have to suffer for their parents’ grief.
Although it may be hard to move on in life knowing you have lost a child, it’s important to be present in the relationship you have with your existing children.
In this case, the parents used the candles as a grieving tool to get through their daughter’s birthday each year. If the tradition ended, they felt like they were erasing their son.
The daughter wanted at least one day just for her to be celebrated, and with time her parents will likely realize that. Perhaps instead of celebrating together, they can have a separate yearly memorial that’s just for their son.
Lauren Reams is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news.