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(36 Posts)
travelsafar Sat 31-Aug-19 13:15:42

Sadly my dearest brother passed away last year and it was actually on his wife's birthday. This year the anniversary of his death will obviously be on her birthday and for ever more. Would you send her a Birthday card or just a Thinking of you card. Not sure what to do under the circumstances.

jusnoneed Sat 31-Aug-19 13:27:27

What a sad thing to happen on her birthday.
I'd send just a plain card with no sentiment, then write your own message inside.

Namsnanny Sat 31-Aug-19 13:56:30

As jusnoneed said I think. Or a bunch of flowers delivered with a note saying ‘thought you might like these’

Anja Sat 31-Aug-19 14:00:25

I’d go with flowers and a pretty card with no words. Then you can add your own.

SueH49 Sat 31-Aug-19 14:01:12

I think you should send your sister in law a birthday card. You cannot ignore her birthday forever because it is the anniversary of your brothers death. She deserves her birthday to be recognised.

ElaineI Sat 31-Aug-19 14:01:23

Nice plain card but say something like "Thinking of you on your birthday" and flowers as suggested by Namsnanny.

Squiffy Sat 31-Aug-19 14:16:46

I think I'd send a birthday card with a separate little note inside mentioning your brother. That way the card can be displayed and the note can be kept somewhere else.

flowers for you travels

EllanVannin Sat 31-Aug-19 15:11:22

Always think of the living. A Birthday card with a nice verse.

Gonegirl Sat 31-Aug-19 17:10:54

I think send a birthday card and just add, "thinking of you today Jane", with an extra kiss.

Hetty58 Sat 31-Aug-19 17:17:06

It shouldn't mean that her usual birthday card is 'cancelled' but your message will be a little different, that's all.

phoenix Sat 31-Aug-19 17:21:06

I've yet to find a birthday card with a "nice verse" EllanVannin, most of them are nauseating.

I'm inclined to agree with Gonegirl.

suziewoozie Sat 31-Aug-19 17:23:00

I agree with the suggestion for a blank card in which you write your own message which mentions both her birthday and the death of your brother. The date will always be both from now on of course but you can judge afresh next year what would be appropriate - the first anniversary is special and it would seem odd to allude to it in an oblique way. You are a very thoughtful s-in- law especially when you yourself will be feeling sad about your brother. 🌹

BlueBelle Sat 31-Aug-19 17:39:26

Definitely don’t cancel her birthday send what you would normally send, if you also want to send a ‘thinking of you on this day’ as well do, they are two totally different ‘happenings’ not linked

SueDonim Sat 31-Aug-19 17:54:38

I agree with sending your sister-in-law a birthday card and adding a note about your brother, too. It's always going to be her birthday and you might feel you want to make it a bit social anyway now she doesn't have her husband to celebrate it with.

I do feel for you, losing your brother. I lost my sister this year and it's been awful. She died the day before her birthday and I'd already sent her a card. I did feel very peculiar about that, knowing she'd never open it. sad

SueDonim Sat 31-Aug-19 17:55:20

a bit *special not social. Sorry.

grandtanteJE65 Sat 31-Aug-19 18:01:14

I too think you should both acknowledge that the day is the anniversary of your brother and her husband's death and her birthday.

Would it be easier to phone her?

If not, perhaps a message on a plain card along the lines of "I hope you will have a enjoyable birthday and many happy returns of it. Obviously, we will both be thinking of John (or whatever his name was)today, too. I hope you like I feel that the first dreadfully hard year is over now."

sallyc06 Sun 01-Sep-19 09:24:25

Send her a card and some flowers, it is still her birthday after all.

rizlett Sun 01-Sep-19 09:33:11

Maybe send a card and also mention in it a fond memory you have of your brother.

Whatever you send won't make her feel any more or less sad. She most likely is sad and it's important to accept this is ok and is normal.

Here's a great little video about how to support those who are experiencing grief.

arosebyanyothername Sun 01-Sep-19 09:36:16

Sorry for your loss travelasfar

My sister died 2 years ago just before her husbands birthday. We sent a plain card saying that we wanted him to know we were thinking of him on his birthday. He doesn’t live near us and he’s still not ready for us to visit so I phone once in a while and get news occasionally from his daughter.
It’s still hard for all of us.

TrendyNannie6 Sun 01-Sep-19 09:46:12

I think you should send her a birthday card, n a note inside about your brother too

SynchroSwimmer Sun 01-Sep-19 09:53:27

The week of the build up prior to the actual date is very likely to be a truly terrible time for your SIL.

The day after her birthday, she may feel some small sense of relief after the difficult week before (which might be a good time for a phone call)

I write from my own and others shared experiences.

Angeleyes58xx Sun 01-Sep-19 09:56:32

My brother died on his daughter’s birthday 🎂 but you can’t not send a birthday card, I send a birthday card to my niece, and also a thinking of you card..xx

Bellasnana Sun 01-Sep-19 10:04:40

My sister died on her son’s birthday. I still send him a card but mention his beloved mum. Life goes on and she would want us to dwell on the happy times, not the sad.

Camelotclub Sun 01-Sep-19 10:17:45 allows you to design your own card or pick one of theirs. You can upload photos to go on the front and write whatever you like. They make it up and post it to the recipient so no need for her to be computer savvy. It's not prohibitively expensive either, not when you look at the prices in some shops.

madmum38 Sun 01-Sep-19 10:58:16

I think people have the same problem with me as my brother died on New Years Eve and my children say I know you wouldn’t want to celebrate it, he was/is my favourite brother of the three.
My husband died Boxing Day, last year was the first without him and I think people felt awkward as got very few Christmas cards from anyone