Happy Birthday, Michaela!

Tomorrow is Michaela’s birthday. I have struggled mightily with what to do with this day since she has been gone. For some years, I had a group of friends who came to my house, and we would sit in a circle and remember Michaela. But time and tides ended that practice. For years after that we would have a family remembrance, with a birthday cake. Then one day I went to pick up a birthday cake and I just could not do it. The thought eating that beautiful gooey sweetness while Michaela was not here, while she might be out there suffering, became anathema to me. And since then I have honored Michaela’s birthday primarily with blogs and posts and letters.

Amazingly enough, this year Michaela’s birthday is easier. If you read my last blog, you will know that as I have leaned into this new reality of Michaela being the victim of a serial killer, I have for the first time in 32 years allowed myself to feel Michaela’s presence in my life. Just yesterday, when I was driving home from a medical appointment an hour away, I had tears running down my face and occasionally broke out in sobs. Then I felt Michaela there, in the car with me. I felt her wrap her arms around my neck, and rest her head against my shoulder, like a small child, but offering comfort instead of receiving it.

I don’t have to worry anymore. I don’t have to be concerned that Michaela is alive somewhere right now, that she is suffering right now, that she needs help right now. Instead, I know that although her suffering was intense, it was short lived, a blip in her eternity. She has spent more in the next world than she did in this one. Instead of me worrying about her, I know instead she is worrying about me.

My youngest daughter is also in a relationship with someone whose birthday happens to fall on the same day as Michaela’s! So there will be cake tomorrow, and I will eat it, and I will feel Michaela, and I will know that as difficult as life seems, as much pain as I hold in my heart, ultimately everything will be okay. Sometimes, in fact, you have to experience the worst things in order to get to the best things. You can’t get to heaven without passing through the valley of the shadow of death. Michaela has become my comfort on my journey.

So, happy birthday, Michaela. On this day 42 years ago, you came into my life and transformed me. You continue to transform me still.

I love you forever,


27 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Michaela!

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  1. Happy heavenly birthday 🎂 to Michaela Joy. Michaela’s spirit is with you ❤ Sharon know that when are thinking of her remembering her so is she on the other side. I can tell you from experience how this is true when ever I’m thinking of my mother suddenly the phone rings its her and she asks how I’m doing and that she was thinking of me. The only difference is that Michaela is no longer in a physical body to communicate with you but her spirit is free as a bird and believe me most of the time she is visiting you thinking of you loving ❤ you and wanting you to be 😊 happy.

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  2. Beyond beautiful. I know for a fact that the veil is thin between this world and the next. She will always be with you to help you and comfort you. She will never be forgotten. Bless you.

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  3. Happy Heavenly Birthday to Michaela! I’m so glad that there has been some comfort for you, now, in the face of all the hard times you’ve faced regarding Michaela’s disappearance. I hope the day is as joyous as possible and that you continue to feel Michaela’s presence and comfort.

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  4. As always, such beautiful and moving words, Sharon. Well, I’m not for one minute going to feign knowing what you are going through, but I find it such an honor that you continue to share your journey. Happy, happy Birthday, Michaela! I’m sure you know what a wonderful mom you have. How remarkable it must be to be so loved by such a strong woman like her. Sending hugs and smiles across the miles on your special day.

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  5. Happy Birthday to your sweet daughter Michaela! What a beautiful blog post. Everything you write is amazing. I have been following Michaela’s case for many years. I’m one year younger than her and from San Francisco. I think you should write a book. Your writing is so therapeutic and touching and inspring, and loving, and evoked just so many emotions. Your really a role model to me and I send so much peace and love to you and prayers to your darling Michaela and just wanted you to know how much you have impacted my life through your writings. I will teach my two little girls about Michaela. ❤️

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  6. Happy birthday Angel.
    I had the exact same experience with my son. For a long time after he was killed it was impossible to think of him without a breakdown. Not easy when you have to work and be strong for your family. Then I just let him touch me. I had this wall up and it was me keeping it up. Now I treat him like he is with me all of the time. My constant companion and it’s so soothing in a way. There are times when it’s not that easy. I’ve had my moments as recently as a few days ago. But he’s not gone forever he’s just in a different place waiting and guiding me. I hope you can continue to feel her more strongly each day. God bless you and your family. Sending love and prayers. – Rod

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  7. So glad she is bringing you comfort from Heaven! I have also been so relieved to know loved ones are experiencing beauty at its highest – even though I miss them here. My thoughts and prayers continue for you and I hope you all enjoyed that cake❤️

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  8. Happy Heavenly Birthday Michaela! Such beautiful words, like always through your words it’s possible to feel Michaela’s beautiful light touching all of us and sending all that is good and pure into this world. You are such a wonderful mom, Michaela will always be with us and her light will continue to bring love into the lives of everyone she touches. Sending you and your family hugs and prayers.

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  9. Sharon, I truly believe Michaela is the one that pushed for her case to be resolved at this point in time. How random for this discovery to happen during the time where your cancer has returned (my understanding it is quite advanced). It’s as if she wants to prepare you that you will be soon seeing her in heaven. Maybe she does not want you to be shocked when you see her. I have been following and reading your blogs since 2013 and was stunned back in the December that this case was resolved. God bless you and your family.

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