23 Jan Now What? Death Day! Also Known As The Anniversary Of The Death


Now What?  Death Day! Also Known As The Anniversary Of The Death…  I referred to this day as “Death Day” the first few years after my husband Donald died.  Every year I take inventory—and every year I can’t believe that another year has gone by—and every year the days leading up to this day and the day itself are different.

It can be difficult to prepare emotionally and mentally for the anniversary of the death.  Usually the anticipation of the day ends up being worse than the actual day itself.  One big factor that impacts this day is that every year this day is different.  Why?  Because every year we are at a different spot in our personal healing journey and every year life circumstances are different.  Sometimes we don’t realize how impactful life circumstances are. For example, on the last anniversary (#16) of Donald’s death, I had to work through sad thinking and feelings related to putting my house on the market—the house that he built for me.

I have to admit that I was difficult to live with for the few weeks surrounding the anniversary last time around—and this surprised me (Back to sweetness now! LOL) because the anniversary day the year before was very uneventful emotionally.  In fact, I just seemed to roll right through this day the year before without losing a beat…

Since this day has the potential to produce enormous emotional grief responses, don’t be caught off guard.  And don’t feel guilty if you have an uneventful emotional experience—because this is normal for healing too.  Either way, have a plan for the day.  For example, hold a memorial service for family members or just for you.  Light a candle.  Share memories.  Visit the cemetery.  Give a donation in your loved ones name. Plant a tree.  Be creative.

Healing Forward Action Step:  It’s also important that you take the time on this day to remember how much healing YOU have accomplished during the last 365 days without your loved one.  Be proud of yourself.  I’m proud of you!