Tuesday, August 31, 2010


turning forty-one
now I am a prime number
scratching at my ass

The humor doesn't come easily anymore, though I do find occasion to smile and laugh. Today, August 31st, marks my first birthday without Mom in my life-- not even there to wish me a happy birthday in absentia from across the ocean. We've got a few more "firsts" this year to get through: my brothers have birthdays coming up (September 14 and October 15); we'll also be having our first Thanksgiving without Mom, and our first Christmas without her. Anyone who thinks bereavement's as easy as just "snapping out of it" is either emotionally retarded or has never experienced true loss. I apologize to all the bereaved people toward whom I have acted in an insensitive way.



Charles said...

I realize that it may be difficult now to have a happy birthday, but I'm going to wish you one nonetheless--not because it is traditional, but because I really do hope that you are able to find some joy today, and in the days to come.

Aaron said...

We males aren't supposed to put our feelings on public display, but this post kind of got to me. I can only imagine losing my mom (though I know it'll happen eventually) and how difficult that'll be. Hope you're getting along alright and doing something cool for yourself on your birthday.

jason said...


I can on imagine how difficult it is, but like Charles I do hope that you have a great birthday.

The Maximum Leader said...

I hope you have good day today. If you don't have plans, feel free to come on down and share dinner with us. Perhaps some goofy kids would be able to cheer your day.

Anonymous said...

You're so right, it isn't just a matter of "snapping out of it". Losing one's mom is huge. I remember thinking I was glad we only have one back when I lost mine, so we only have to go through it once. But mixed in with the grief and the missing her and the getting used to the fact that she's really gone, not in this world, will be good memories, memories of love. Eventually those will predominate, and the pain recedes.

So I'll wish you, if not a happy birthday exactly, a birthday full of love.

Kevin Kim said...

Thanks, all of you. You're good people.

Lorianne said...

This post reminds me of what people said in the aftermath of September 11: that we needed to find a "new normal." A "happy birthday" without your Mom will probably never be the same as a "happy birthday" with her. How could it? You'll never fully forget the depths of your loss, just as you'll never forget how wonderful your Mom was. But eventually, a "new normal" will emerge. It just takes time.

I hope in the meantime you had as good a birthday as you could in the circumstances: a "happy birthday" redefined.

Nathan B. said...

Sincere wishes for a happy B-day, Kevin. I was going to send you a link about "inter-religious dialogue," and I think I still will.

Best wishes,

Kevin Kim said...

Thanks, Lorianne and Nathan. Here's hoping for that "new normal." I guess it's a bit like the "new normal" that awaits a recent amputee.

Speaking of amputees: have you seen the video of the congenital amputee (no forearms, hands, legs, or feet) who's competing in mixed martial arts? If not, I present you Kyle Maynard. Gutsy guy.


hahnak said...

as others have said, it certainly isnt the happiest of days without mom... still i hope you had as good a day as you could. xoxox

Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Happy Birthday, Kevin . . . in spite of everything, I hope.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

Elisson said...

Happy birthday, Kevin - a little late, alas, as we were celebrating SWMBO's birthday yesterday. By a strange coincidence, it turns out that you share birthdays. What are the odds?

(About 1:365.25, as it happens.)

The first anything without Mom is tough. Birthdays. Holidays. Family occasions. They get easier with time, of course, but they're never quite the same. And that, my friend, is Life.

Jelly said...

Belated happiness on your birthday and on every other day, my friend.

Kevin Kim said...

Thanks, Hahna, Jeff, Elisson, and J.