Tomorrow would have been my late husband’s 64th birthday. He only made it to 57. Then, just two weeks later will be our wedding anniversary.
The first four years after Glenn’s passing I would walk to the beach early in the morning on his birthday, where we used to often walk as a couple and leave a bouquet of happy birthday balloons and flowers. Then I moved house to a local beach community and stopped this tradition. Not for any reason, really other than feeling a shift in my grief as if its now planted in my heart forever, as loving memories.
Many report having major grief waves hit during anniversary times. I’ve found this to be true as well. However if I sit back and notice, it tends to be more painful on his death anniversary time rather than other life milestones such as birthdays, wedding anniversaries or holidays.
I’ve always loved holidays. Any reason to celebrate and I’m up for it! My father died many years ago right before Christmas. He always made that time of year so special for my siblings. So, instead of dreading the holiday season, I actually look forward to it and embrace the sadness with the joy of the season. This has always gotten me through. And eating all the yummy foods that come with the season!
Some other things that have gotten me through anniversary time:
- Being gentle on myself.
- Preparing (or eating out), special foods that my late husband loved. I’ve mixed this up over the years and sometimes just eat what “I like.” Its all the same, really.
- Planning ahead and setting myself up in a positive sense on anniversary days whether I stay home, keep my schedule light, go to a spa, plan special time with friends and family, whatever the case may be, you get the idea.
- Putting off hard decisions/discussions/ important meetings etc., so they don’t fall on anniversary days.
- Drawing on times from my past that got me through the hard times.
- Reminiscing the “good times.”
- Lighting a candle, writing a letter to loved ones or even talking to them.
- Close your eyes, breathe and just notice what comes. You might get a feeling, a message, an image. If it’s a feeling of love then you KNOW its meaningful. Our loved ones on the other side will only send us love.
The best advice that I was ever given after being suddenly widowed was to “be good to myself.” So, if you are in the midst of anniversary season as I am, slow down, take life one moment at a time and be gentle on yourself.