Today I wanted to share some tips to on how to deal with loss and anniversaries. By this I mean that its the anniversary of their death. Whist I’ve seen lots of tips about how to cope with the immediate feelings, when it comes to anniversaries, all I see is people stating “Time is the greatest healer”. I do agree that each day gets easier. However, when that anniversary rolls round, it can set you right back to the beginning.
I recently experienced this with my grandad. It was the anniversary of his death at the weekend and it was such a difficult day. Out of anyone I’ve lost, his anniversary always feels the most difficult because it was so sudden and unexpected. Whilst I’m still sad that my nan and her twin sister passed away, they had full time nursing for months beforehand. It helped me to prepare for what would come. So how do you deal with loss and anniversaries as they come? Check out these tips to find out:
Do something for them every year
On the day or as close to it as you can, make sure you do something for the person you have lost. It could be taking some flowers to their grave. Instead you might decide to have a family meal or a day out to their favourite place. Its important to do something where you can feel your emotions because the worse thing you can do is bottle it up inside.
Write them a letter
You might think what is the point, they won’t read it. However I’ve found it a really great way of getting those thoughts down on paper. Sometimes I write about the what ifs and how live might be if my loved ones were still around. Once you get started, you’ll be surprised at how the words start flowing and how much better you feel.
Don’t be afraid to cry
It is ok to cry, no matter how many years down the line. Anniversaries, birthdays and other events that your loved one is missing out on will always be difficult. Let those feelings out, whether with family or privately. It is absolutely normal and nothing to be ashamed about.
Keep their memory alive
Talk about them with family and friends. Laugh about silly things they did. When talking about current events, chat about what your loved one would have thought. For example during this pandemic, I know that no matter his age, my grandad would want to help people in any way that he could. That was just his nature.
If you know that a certain date is going to be difficult for you, book it off from work. Don’t make plans with people just to hide your feelings. If you want to spend time on your own, that is absolutely fine. Likewise, if you want to spend it with family, talk to them, because they probably feel the same way.
Please remember if you feel the grief is getting on top of you, talk to someone. Whether that’s a family member, friend or counsellor. Face your grief head on as best as you can but don’t shut the world out or worse. Your loved one would never want your story to end because of them.
I hope you have found these tips useful on how to deal with loss and anniversaries. Grief is a difficult path to tread for all of us. You never know how you will react until you are in that situation yourself. If this post helps just a handful of people, I’ll feel like I’ve done something worthwhile.