A brother can play a significant role in your life. They provide you with advice, they tease you, and they stick up for you. If your brother has died, it can feel like you are losing a piece of yourself. This feeling is normal and is a part of the grieving process. By taking time to reflect on the unconditional love you shared with your brother, it can help remind you that the bond you shared will never be broken.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Reflect on a ‘Happy Birthday, Brother’ Quote
- Say ‘Happy Birthday in Heaven, Brother’ with a Poem
- How to Say ‘Happy Birthday’ to a Little Brother that Died
- How to Say ‘Happy Birthday’ to a Big Brother that Died
If your brother's birthday is approaching, consider embracing the day. Commit to spending your brother's birthday in a way that's meaningful to you both. This might include watching his favorite movie, a trip to the batting cages, or a hike in nature.
You may also feel compelled to read some quotes, poems, or notes shared between you and your brother. Here's how to say "happy birthday in heaven" to him.
Tip: Whether your brother passed away this year, last year, or years ago, you might still be sorting through the life he left behind. Our post-loss checklist can help you understand what comes next.
Reflect on a ‘Happy Birthday, Brother’ Quote
If you are at a loss for words and unsure how to express your emotions, a quote might be the best way to tell your brother happy birthday.
- "To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time." – Clara Ortega, Writer
- "There may be no relationship that's closer, finer, harder, sweeter, happier, sadder, more filled with joy or fraught with woe, than the relationship we have with our brothers and sisters." – Jeffrey Kluger, Writer and Editor
- “I grew up with an older brother, and the bond between siblings is unlike anything else, and it can be a real journey to accept what that bond is once you both mature into it. Because it’s not always what you want. It’s not always what you expect. It’s not always what you imagined or hoped. But it’s one of the most important things in the world.” – Ben Schnetzer, Actor
- “Brothers don’t necessarily have to say anything to each other – they can sit in a room and be together and just be completely comfortable with each other.” – Leonardo DiCaprio, Actor
- “The most important thing between brothers is not that they quarrel or not but that no matter what, they bond and care for each other.” – Maxime Lagacé, Hockey Player
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Say ‘Happy Birthday in Heaven, Brother’ with a Poem
Poetry is a beautiful way to express your love for someone. Here are some poems that may resonate with you and your relationship with your brother. If these poems inspire you, you can read them at his grave or memorial site. You may also decide to write your own poem. You can also take a look at our picks for the best funeral poems if you're looking for more.
"Siblings" by Alyssa Nichole
This poem speaks to the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister. Despite the ups and downs, the love between a brother and sister is unconditional.
"Come Back Home" by Ayesha Patel
This poem recounts the bond between a brother and sister and the grief of losing a brother. The author calls on her brother to watch over her and she promises to never forget him.
"I remember” by Jerry Krause Sr.
The author expressed that the day his brother died, a piece of his soul died. This poem is a reflection of the life of two brothers and their heartwarming friendship.
"In My Mind” by By Jenn Farrell
This poem is a conversational piece. It illustrated what a brother might say after he has died. The author captures the heart of their relationship and their everlasting sibling love.
How to Say ‘Happy Birthday’ to a Little Brother that Died
The loss of a sibling is tough, especially when it's a younger brother. As an older sibling, you may feel guilty for outliving your brother. That feeling is normal and part of the grief process.
When your brother's birthday comes around, try to do something in his memory. This can help ease any guilt you may feel as well as alleviate some of the grief on his special day. Here are some ideas to consider:
Write him a letter
Do you have something you want to share with your brother? Take time to write him a letter to express how much you love and miss him. This is a sweet way to connect with him on his special day. Grab a pen and paper and let your thoughts flow without judgment.
You can even re-read your brother's eulogy if you aren't up to writing.
Travel to his favorite place
If you have the time and funds, plan a trip to your brother’s favorite place. Take pictures, eat his favorite food, and let yourself experience his favorite place. By visiting a place he loved, you may find yourself feeling his presence more than usual.
Host a game day
If your brother had a favorite sport or game, consider hosting a game day in his honor. If he loved golf or poker, you can host a tournament and invite close family and friends. Let your family and friends know why you are hosting the party and encourage them to share memories of him.
Visit his grave or memorial site
Visiting your brother's grave can be a nice way to celebrate his birthday. Bring his favorite candy or drink and place it on his grave as a birthday offering. You can talk to him out loud or spend the visit in prayer or meditation.
Name a star after him
If your brother loved space or if you do, consider naming a star in his honor. The International Star Registry will help you pick a star in the galaxy and name it after your loved one. You will receive a certificate and coordinates of your star. This is a beautiful way to memorialize your brother.
Any time you look in the night sky, you can rest assured there is a star that represents your brother's life on earth.
How to Say ‘Happy Birthday’ to a Big Brother that Died
Losing your older brother can feel shattering, especially if you looked up to him. It might feel strange to navigate the world without him by your side. Feeling this way is normal and expected after this type of loss.
To counteract the sadness, you may consider celebrating his birthday. This is a beautiful way to memorialize your brother and connect with his presence in your heart.
Do something he loved
Spend your brother's birthday doing something he loved. Attend his favorite sports game or indulge at his favorite ice cream shop. Think about what he loves and spend the day doing those things. The best way to celebrate his life is to live yours to the fullest.
It's okay if you don't feel like celebrating your brother's birthday. It may feel too triggering to engage in activities on this day. Trust that you know what is best for yourself. Doing nothing can be healing, especially on the days when your grief feels overwhelming.
If you are feeling crafty, this a wonderful way to tap into the healing power of art. You can make a digital photo book, a scrapbook, a memorial ornament, or a memory box. This tangible item will serve as a keepsake item that you can pass down for generations.
Make a music playlist
Curating a playlist is a thoughtful way to celebrate your brother. Through the power of music, you can laugh, cry, and feel the impact that your brother had on your life. Music has a healing component and you can turn to this playlist whenever you are missing your brother.
Host a small gathering or party at your house or park. Invite your friends and family and encourage them to bring a favorite memory of your brother. They can write the memory down and place it in a memory jar or everyone can share out loud. Take a look at some memorial service ideas if you need more inspiration.
Set the tone of the party to be an upbeat celebration of his life and encourage laughter and fun.
Finding Peace by Honoring your Brother
The physical absence of your brother will take some getting used to. You may find yourself reaching for the phone to call him or eager to tell him something new that has happened to you. It's natural to want to talk with your brother and wish you could have spent more time together. Though there is nothing that will bring him back, you are in charge of how much or how little you celebrate him.
When you take time to celebrate someone who had died, you strengthen your bond with that person. Through celebration and honor, you are paying gratitude for the memories you shared. In celebration, you will discover that what you are missing hasn't gone anywhere. The presence of your brother has been within you all along.