The First Anniversary
It is common for grievers to experience emotional upheaval for a few weeks before and after the anniversary of the date of death for your loved one. Although you may experience a lot of grief during this time, it can be a time for healing. Here are some ideas to help:
- Make plans for the anniversary: The anticipation of the event is often worse than the actual day. Make a plan of how you want to make it a good day. Consider ways that others can help you if others offer support.
- Celebrate your loved one’s life: Create a positive ritual for this day, do an activity that your loved one enjoyed, eat foods they liked, etc.
- Acknowledge what you have accomplished since the day of your loss: Compassionately recognize the hard work you have endured through your grief journey, do something special for yourself.
- Memories—handle with care: Hold on to the rich and happy memories that bring feelings of gratitude and love for your loved one, journal your memories, find other ways to keep your memories such as a memory box, scrapbook, or photo album.
- Letting go isn’t the same as forgetting: A part of your loved one will always remain with you but you can let go of the sorrow and pain as you choose to go on with your life. Choose to focus on the memories and experiences that have helped you to grow and expanded your capacity to discover happiness and joy.
- Finding support: Joining a support group before and after the time of the death anniversary can be helpful.