How to Deal With Losing a Loved One: The Anniversary Day

Losing a loved one brings with it so many challenges and feats of day to day survival but I think for most people who are grieving, this day tips the scales when it comes to facing one of grief’s biggest challenges.

The anniversary day of a loved one’s death brings you face to face with reality. Their physical presence has gone and it becomes a very painful reminder of your loss. It marks the moment when life as you knew it changed forever and for many approaching that fateful date it can be a near crippling and overwhelming experience.

For so many, this “approaching” can range from months to weeks prior to the actual day itself. It slowly builds up to a crescendo. The calendar is the first reminder of what awaits you. As the date comes closer, dread starts weighing down your heart with the awakening of each new dawn. Next to join in is the horrendous thundering of thoughts racing wildly through your mind. The forerunners being “I’m dreading it” and “How am I going to cope?” Naturally your anxiety levels are increasing like a thermometer on a hot summer day and you just wish you could go to sleep and wake up when it’s all over!

For so many of you it is an intensely painful experience. It was for me too but now the pain of my grief has shifted into something else. Yes there are still tears. Yes there is the missing and a longing to touch that which I cannot feel. But it is a day where now my sadness has become sacred.

If I had to describe a sacred anniversary day to you it would look like this:

– A day dedicated completely to your loved one and reserved wholeheartedly for them.

– A day devoted to remembrance and connection, founded on the unique bond and love you have and always will share.

– A day where you give yourself immunity from the pressures of the everyday world.

– A day belonging to comfort, gentleness and self-compassion.

– A day where you recognise the power of you in having lived the previous year through your loss.

– A day that honours what your loved one has brought to your life. Who you are and who you are yet to be as a result of your love and your experience.

There are many ways you can plan this day in a way that feels right for you and in ways that honours the unique relationship you shared.

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