I recently had my first birthday without my father. Like yourself, I didn't want anything done for it -- for me it was a miserable first that I didn't want to have to pretend to be happy. I told everyone that I wanted a quiet day -- no cake, no party, no presents -- and mostly, people respected that. It turned out to be a relatively peaceful, albeit sad day for me.
At my father's memorial service, I spoke with a man who had lost his mother and wife in the previous six months. He gave me the best advice of anyone in the first few weeks... he said, "while you are grieving allow yourself to be selfish. It is your journey -- it can only be traveled by you -- so put yourself first." I have taken that advice many times and it has helped me greatly. Thus I would say, it is your birthday. Do whatever it takes for you to get through this first birthday without your beloved father. You do not have to pretend to be happy for anyone else because you have the right to be selfish on your grief journey. Kindly tell the people you love that you appreciate that they want to make your birthday special but you would prefer to have a quiet day without any acknowledgment.
As far as the platitude statements... such as "He is in a better place" or "life goes on" etc... I simply tell people that I know they are trying to help and don't know what to say but that those statements are unhelpful and to please keep them to themselves. It has worked for me.
It has been six months without my wonderful dad -- and I have yet to have a day that I don't miss him and cry. The pain doesn't go away but it has become slightly more bearable. I never hold back my tears or apologize for crying. I figure that if I can't cry at the loss of my beloved father what CAN I cry about?
I am so sorry that you share the misery of losing a great dad. Truly and honestly sorry. I hope it helps in some way to know you are not alone.