22 Nov Anniversary Of The Death: Emotional Kicker

Anniversary Of The Death: Emotional Kicker

This day was never a part of your life until the death of your loved one.  Now that it is, you may be wondering, Now What?  For starters, it’s helpful to understand what’s normal for the anniversary of the death.  Why?  So that you can navigate your healing journey without getting stuck in the emotional muck that grief sometimes produces on holidays, special days and the anniversary of the death.

What’s Normal?

The anticipation of this day is usually worse than the day itself ends up being.  Furthermore, it’s normal to be exhausted for a few days and sometimes even a week or more after the day passes.  Why?  The arrival of this day triggers more grief work.  It’s an emotional reality marker that highlights the fact that the death really did happen—and how much has changed.

Don’t Forget about You

This is a time of processing and reprocessing not only what has happened to your loved one, but what has happened to you.  Not to be bossy, but this is a time when it is important not to be a slacker when it comes to taking care of yourself.  Grief emotions and Healing are easier to navigate when you eat healthy, drink water and add in some type of exercise.

 

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Is Every Year Different?

Yes.  Every year is a different emotional experience because every year you will be at a different point in your healing.  Which means that you will breeze through this day some years and other years you will have a more stress filled experience.  And it doesn’t matter how far out from the death date that you are or how far along that you are in your healing.

What Else Impacts This Day?

Every year is different because everything else that is going on in your will impact this day.  For example, another death, the birth of a grand baby, a child graduating, parenting grieving children, a marriage or a divorce, a job change, selling or buying a house, retiring… The list goes on and on.  All the events that we believe our loved one should still be here for.  All of life circumstances where we could really use his or her input.

This Year For Me

For me this year, the seventeenth anniversary of my husband Donald’s death, produced all kinds of painful emotions to work through and process.  Why? Because I sold the house that we built twenty-eight years ago and moved to a new city.  Good decision.  Happy with it, but this decision produced more grief work.   On top of this, our son married his sweetheart and our daughter is having another baby….  Last year I breezed right through this day.  But not this year.  Again, everything that is going on in your life is going to impact this day.

Someone Just Told Me I Should Be “Over It”

We live in a culture where grief makes some people very uncomfortable.  Your death experience and normal grieving and healing experience are a reminder that what happened to you could happen to them.  Pretending all is well when all is not well is one way that people use to avoid dealing with the reality of death and what’s normal for grief.

Healing Forward Action Step:

Find ways to honor the memory of your loved one.  For example, plant a tree or make a donation to your loved one’s favorite charity.  Be creative.  You can also meet as a family or with friends and share memories and light a candle or release balloons.  Again, be creative and do what works for you and your family.  Share with us what your experience with the anniversary of the death has been to date, too.

Hugs, Linda