If you've ever lost someone who was a huge part of your life, then you have definitely experienced the painful days that come around... and the most painful of all of those days are probably the birthdays. The birthdays without the people we love, the birthdays they should be there for, the birthdays that remind us how short life is.

My sister's birthday is that day for me. It's the day that I try my best to stay distracted but also honor her memory, so here are some things I've found that can always get me through the hard days.

1. Let yourself cry.

Don't fight the pain, don't hide it, just let yourself cry just a little bit - or even a lot - if that's what you need.

2. Don't try to forget them.

Don't forget your loved one. Don't let the pain of losing them ruin the love you have for them or the memories you have with them.

3. Remember them.

Remember their laugh, share stories about them, look through old pictures, and most of all - remember the love you have for them, and how lucky you were to know them.

4. Go get their favorite dessert, and pig out.

Go get that triple scoop of ice cream, go to town on that double fudge brownie. Celebrate their birthday, memorialize them, don't let it be a day of total sadness.

5. Breathe.

In and out, throughout the whole day. Don't let yourself get overwhelmed with or caught up in your pain.

6. Call someone.

Have a person, and call them. Pour your heart out, share old memories, and let someone in. Don't close yourself off.

7. Pray, a lot.

The Lord works in strange ways, and He knows that you're feeling pain. He knows you may be angry with Him, or with the world. He knows that your heart is broken, but He also knows that HE LOVES YOU - and will always be there for you.

So, on your hard days, just let yourself remember these simple steps, and maybe use a few - you deserve to be happy. Your loved one wouldn't want you to hurt.