Do you remember a sad anniversary and if so why or why not?
When people remember anniversaries they often think of happy times like biirthdays or wedding anniversaries, but when there is grief and loss do you remember the birthday rather the day a loved one died. Or if there was a tragedy do you remember it on a special date ?
I do not want to trigger anyone or upset anyone but I am facing an anniversary in a couple of weeks and it will be covered in the media so not sure how I can avoid it.
I am interested in how others handle the sad dates.
I've expressed my views at the beginning of this thread about anniversaries. Let me give you a good example of this as the topic came up at xmas lunch between my sister and I.
Our beautiful father passed on at 64 years of age in 1992. He was 110 days from his 65th birthday (more on that later) and I always remembered his passing was in April as I had resigned from Telstra immediately after his death. The exactdate I had no desire to recall.
Last year I turned 64yo and wanted to know how dad felt (age wise) around the age he passed on so asked my sister what was the date. She was astounded I didnt ever recall it and told me it was April 14th 1992. She said "its the one day every year that I feel sad and down effectively in grief".
So December 10th came along and I was 110 days before my 65th birthday, the same age to the day my dad passed away. I took some moments to reflect upon how physically I felt on that day. That was it, over, no more reflection on the day.
Christmas lunch and the topic came up. My sister asked how I felt that day and told her. eg he was very young at 64 to pass on etc. She asked if I felt grief and my answer was, "sad but not grief". She was again astounded. I then began to explain how my thinking process works, albeit so different to hers.
Regular readers will know that I have several poems I've written about my father. Those were the times my grief was at its peak. Being 28 years ago it happens far less often. I chose a long time ago to grief when I felt like it not based on days, years, hours etc that coincide only on time. Time is irrelevant to me as (previously explained) that is only when the earth is at a certain point to the sun, it isnt like anything magical happens on the minute, hour day and month of time of an anniversary.
The question of this thread is - "Do you remember a sad anniversary and if so why or why not?"
Now I concede that if a major trauma occured in my life, I'd recall the month the year after. EG, when my first marriage folded I recall it being February, handy when you need 12 month separation to file for a divorce !. It is also a a feeling of getting over a mental "hump" so it helps to move on better. That' all well and good for those that want to do that.
However, in comparison to my sister that has grieved for 28 years on the same day - 14th April, I have not. I've grieved when my mind fills with those loving memories in a natural way not base on time, a man made thing.
It was interesting reading about everyone's different way of thinking and grieving for a loved one (we all have our own ways). For me, I come from a cultural background where death and grief is more open and accepted, rather than a stiff upper lip. Death is seen as a celebration of life, and whilst it doesn't make the profound sadness go away, I find that it works for me. Both my grandmother and mother-in-law passed away on the same date (different years) - rather than see it as a looming date or something to block out of my mind, we go to the cemetery with a picnic basket and a bottle of wine, and talk to them. My husband and I update them on what is happening with us, who is doing well in the football, laugh about the silly things. For me, it makes me feel like they are still with me and it helps with my grieving process.
They always talk about "acceptance" being the last stage of grief, but it's not accepting they are gone, it's just accepting that you will be changed from their death (it never stops hurting) and that your relationship with them is different. They may no longer be here with you - but you can still choose to remember, laugh, rejoice. For me, I don't see death as a finality - but that is just my take on it.