Just feeling sad...


Active Member
My son turns 31 this month. Over the past several years he's been either in jail, rehab or a sober home on his birthday. I think this is the first time I have no clue where he's staying. Wow, what a terrible feeling. I don't care if he's 31, he's still my son and it seems so unnatural to not be able to at least send a card. I could reach him on his cell phone if I wanted (if it's still turned on?) to say what "happy birthday" but will it be happy? Not for me. I can't give him a gift, or money. He'd use it for heroin. Grieving the loss of my living son is sometimes just too much to bare. And nighttime is always the hardest. It's so quiet and my mind wants to worry. Any great advise on how to handle a birthday with a kid that's out on the streets homeless?


Well-Known Member
Can you send a text saying something like "Thinking of you on your birthday and sending love"? Even if he doesn't get it straight away, you have still sent it. It's for you as much as him.

(My son would say that a personal message sent is far better than a piece of cardboard with a soppy message written by a greetings card company to rip us off and exploit our love of all things commercial.)

Can you do something nice for yourself then? To mark the day and think of him?
Lying in bed feeling worried and sad is the worst thing to do. x


Well-Known Member
Cedar has some rituals around her son. She lights a white candle, which I adopted. She thinks about him, and entrusts him to a higher power. She sometimes sets a plate for him at family meals, in another room so it is there. Rituals are good. You can love him from a distance. I've also missed my son's birthdays. It is heartbreaking...but it is a thing over which we have no control. All we can do is manage our own responses. Are you religious? Go to a house of worship and pray for him. Not religious? Go find some water and walk by it. Cry if you can or want to. Walk in the woods. Meditate . Exercise. Volunteer. Love him.

Good luck on his birthday.


Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
I too am not able to wish my son a Happy Birthday directly. I always send a message to him on FB but he does not check it regularly as he is a homeless drifter wondering around the southwest states. He will be 34 in a few months.

One thing that has helped me is to stop thinking about my son as a kid, instead think about him as an adult man. I used to see his face in my mind and it was the face of a child, the child he was before all the chaos started. Now when I see his face in my mind I see his long Rastafarian hair and his un-kept beard. When I see him this way I do not worry like I did when I saw him as a child.
My son has been homeless for quite some time and he manages. I don't know how and to be honest, I don't want to know how, I just know that he does. He is very capable to handle the world he lives in.

Cedar has some rituals around her son. She lights a white candle
Oh I love this!! I have never seen Cedar talking about this. Thank you for sharing.
With my son's birthday coming up I will do this. I will start a ritual so that I can honor the son I gave birth to.

Carri, I think starting a ritual is a good thing. What a great way for us to send out our love to our Difficult Child. I will still send him a Birthday wish on FB and now I can include my ritual. I'm not sure what all it will entail but I do love the idea of lighting a candle for him.

((HUGS)) to you Carri. I hope you get out and do something good for yourself.


Active Member
I love all of you even though we've never actually met! I'm all over the candle idea along with a happy birthday text. And Echo, I love everything you ever post. Thanks to everyone for being there for me when no one else could possibly relate. [emoji173]️


Active Member
I'm sorry for your pain and I completely understand it.
I put on earbuds in bed and listen to sleep hypnosis on YouTube or talk radio. It helps ...


Well-Known Member
Carri, Hi. I don't know if you know me. I am a pretty new member. My son has been homeless off and on for 2 or 3 years. Now he is not. He is also mentally ill. He is almost 27.

I agree with every single thing that has been said. This is what has changed for me:

I am now in touch again with how much I love my son and how much he loves me. That was what I had lost. I had lost confidence in the strength of the bond between us. How much love and confidence there is.

That is why I agree with everybody that has talked about celebrating their adult child in their absence and cherishing and celebrating themselves as mothers.

Our love for them is really all we have. Even if our kids are doing great. It is really about the love.

As far as phoning or sending a text, whatever feels right for you will be the right thing to do. He knows you love him. That is what I think.

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Active Member
Thanks AppleCori. I've been a member for a yr and a half now and always love what I read here. I read more often than I post, same for me at alanon meetings, I listen more than I share. [emoji173]️