The Birthday Party That Wasn’t

Last year, on this date (July 7th), I didn’t get out of bed.

It was my birthday. And not just any birthday, but one of the BIG ones, one of the milestones. I’ll let you guess which round number.

Bill had planned to have a massive celebration to mark my birthday—a party with legions of friends, copious wine, catered food, rainbow-coloured streamers, a phalanx of clowns, hot air balloon rides for everyone, several huge birthday cakes out of which would pop scantily-clad singer-dancer-models to appeal to the range of appetites of the partiers, and a door prize of a date with Hugh Jackman who, according to Bill, had agreed to go out with whoever won, regardless of gender and sexual orientation.

Those were his dreams for my birthday party, as they stood in the early planning stages. He claimed that, because of how much he loved me, he wanted to do something dramatic.

Well, he did love me. He did do something dramatic. But it wasn’t throwing the birthday party of the century.

He died.

When that birthday came around, I stayed in bed and hid under the covers. The concept of celebrating seemed intolerable.

Today, is the second birthday of mine since Bill died.

I’ve gotten out of bed.

I think that’s probably a good sign.

* * *

August Farewell, my memoir of our 33-year love affair that culminated in Bill’s sudden death from pancreatic cancer, is available through and other on-line book retailers.

My website,, contains more information about August Farewell including excerpts, readers’ comments, media coverage, reviews, and a YouTube video at

The photo below was taken on trip Bill gave me for an earlier birthday to a quaint town you may have heard of on the Adriatic Sea.











Filed under Uncategorized

2 responses to “The Birthday Party That Wasn’t

  1. This is a moment when the meaning of words get a different shade compared to what they mean to every other person. You’ve been given the possibility to turn your loss into something good to other people. Everybody would prefer to do something good without losing the love of their lives but we can’t control all in our lives. Maybe we can control even nothing. It’s good that you are moving on and got out of bed in such a day. So I wish you can have a happy birthday enjoying what you have the luck to be here to enjoy. This is not disrespectful of your love and loss, you’d be behaving according to what Bill would have wanted for you. So, again, a happy birthday that means more than what it would mean to anyone else.

  2. Lisa Fields

    David,Happy Birthday. While I don’t know you well I do know you are helping many others as they too honor the ones they loved. By sharing your grief and journey you are helping others. Your contributions to our #HPM Tweetchat is inspiring. Sincerely, Lisa

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s