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Do you remember a sad anniversary and if so why or why not?

Community Champion
Community Champion

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.


39 Replies 39

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Hi quirky I find the first anniversary one of the hardest but you get through that day and you remember what happened and have a few years and a few thoughts but it will come and go and it will be tomorrow again.My anniversary is hard to forget the day when it is Christmas day when I am alone and everyone in the street will be laughing and enjoying themselves which they should be but my Christmas day is a sad one.I will try and do something I enjoy in the morning,a motorbike ride for me(that will depend on whether I will go into surgery or not before Christmas or if it's raining)and then I will have a toast at 2 pm at the exact moment and then maby watch a DVD and then have a sleep and then it will be tomorrow.
Take care,

Thanks to all those reading and posting and sharing your sometimes private thoughts.

katy, I like the way you planned for the day and had it managed but didn’t realise how you feel the next day. What a great friend, you have to feel what you have to feel. That is so true.
I am so sorry for your less and appreciate your help . I think so many people tell us what to do and how to feel.


Thanks for telling us about your dad and how his lossbwill affect how you live your life without him. I think Christmas and birthdays and all this tines you spent together but now will spend alone are hard.
Father’s Day will be hard .

my mum passed away the day before Mother’s Day I find it hard.

Thanks for sharing your story, it has helped me.

matchy. Thanks for helping me. Christmas is such a public event like my anniversary so hard to ignore. As I said we think about what happened every day but all the focus on an event makes it hard. Tomorrow is another day.

Thanks for sharing your experiences I appreciate it .

Hi quirky and all,

For me, it's different altogether. I write down the dates - whether it's birthdays/anniversaries but I won't plan for them. I know two are in August but I don't know when and all of a sudden I'll wake up feeling like I've been hit by a bus - and that's my cue. Every year, every anniversary.

I've learned that 'the body remembers' so there's no point trying to skim over it even though technically it's another day. If I can I try, I plan for it a little bit - so that when the day rolls around I can try and be a little kinder to myself.


Hi quirkywords

Of course, I'll share this, something that is mostly effective after lots of trial and error- One thing I find helpful on triggering anniversaries or dates is to clear my schedule, because brain fog and low mood are big things for me when these days roll around. I let myself feel what I feel. Wallow a bit, actually. Then, I try and do highly intellectual activities that engage my mind. Either that, or I distract myself by putting myself where I have to focus on my environment and what my senses are picking up to a reasonable degree, and I can't let me mind float away and spiral. Driving, hiking and doing a timed work out help here.

Try and Tay thanks for sharing how you both cope.

RT I feel like I have ben steamrolled at anytime not just on a date.

Tay I like the idea of wallowing then doing intellectual activities.

For me it isn't a specific date but the season which is triggering. This is made much worse when weather conditions mimic the time. While you can deliberately avoid TV programs which are likely to be triggering but you can't avoid community adverts designed to remind people to prepare for bushfire season. These are not only on TV radio but also on signs in the community.

I am really interested in peoples ideas which I can try. My therapy started a year ago to help me cope better has been interrupted by the pandemic & my therapist being sick so I haven't made the progress I hoped.

One thing I have found helpful is being open & honest with people who can support me. Chose only those you can trust to support you in a way that suits you. People who are great supports in other ways may not be helpful.

By open & honest I don't mean sharing every detail because this is likely to be too difficult. Share what is needed so the person knows what you need from them. It has taken me a long time to be able to tell my husband what I need. I'm glad I finally had the courage to share. Examples of what I mean. Recently I inadvertently drove somewhere which was triggering. I couldn't turn around. When my husband noted my extremely anxious state I told him I couldn't talk. Once we got to a place I felt safe I thanked him for being quiet so he knows that his silence is what I need in that situation. He asked if there was anything else I wanted him to do to which I briefly explained that in a crisis I need to just be quiet so I can focus on coping.

Letting loved ones know what works for you is important. Also accepting that it is a learning time to find what helps. After being badly triggered I follow up with distraction doing something which takes my mind off what has happened. This can be reading a book or walking around focusing on what is around you.


Letting loyved ones know what works for you is important. Also accepting that it is a learning time to find what helps. After being badly triggered I follow up with distraction doing something which takes my mind off what has happened. This can be reading a book or walking around focusing on what is around you.

Your words are so helpful. Thanks. Trying what works for you is important. I will remember that. Distractions are important.

Community Member

Hi Quirky,

I remember them all but I choose to forget the sad ones where my partner did not remember it or if he did, he didn't make the day special.

Sweesoft thanks for your post. Sometimes the sad ones remember themselves.

Hi quirkywords

Thankyou- it's a good one because I find you can tailor it to your needs at any given time. Sometimes you might wallow all nightand not even begin to distract yourself until the next day with errands etc depending on when the emotions grab you. It's a very flexible approach in that way.