It’s been 2 years since Mom died and 8 years since Kris, my first husband was killed. Last year, I got away with a friend. That was a good way to spend this week. This year, in hindsight, I am learning that despite doing lots of self-care, preparing beforehand, I didn’t really prepare emotionally. I thought, “Oh, it’s been plenty of time, I’m good. I’ll take some time off, get a massage, book a light week and I’ll be fine.” I’m annoyed by grief popping in and visiting. It’s hanging out and I’d really rather not feel this. I’m feeling blah, angry and having crying bursts at odd times. What’s that about? IDK?
My deeper thoughts are. UGH, it’s been eight years, you still grieve? Will it ever stop? Why on earth do I grieve? I have this amazing life and husband. Why is it that I can coach others on this but I just want to stuff it and not feel the pain anymore? Two grief anniversaries in one week. It feels like too much sometimes.
Most of the year, I go about my daily life and grief isn’t looming over me. The loss of Kris has lessened and it’s in the distance. His death is a part of the fabric of our lives; the hole is still there. Still, there is the reminder and sadness he’s not here, I miss him, and he’s not there for the boys. That’s what hurts the most. He’s not there for them.
Yes, we’ve all moved forward with life but there’s that hole. He is still here with the memories, sayings and living within my children – just not physically on this earthly plane. It’s a very weird place to be happily married but still grieve my late husband. How does one wrestle with that? I don’t really know and sometimes it feels so awkward. I just try accepting it and thank God I’ve been blessed with two amazing men in my life.
What to do this icky and uncomfortable grief week? I’ve stopped stuffing and re-read my blog from last year on what to do. I do have some great advice and ideas. I will take care of myself and acknowledge this is a weird and uncomfortable week of grief anniversaries. What do I need? Just prayers and love.
So what do YOU do with your grief anniversaries? I’d love to hear so please share. If you are experiencing your first and have no idea where to start here are a few thoughts from my journey you might find useful
Be aware of the date and what may be bubbling up for you.
Ignoring and it stuffing it are forms of denial and can lead to outbreaks later.
- Yup, as I’ve tested and re-affirmed this week
Consider how you feel and what you might need or want at this time.
- That helps take control over the grief and really what you need and want.
- Do you want to be reminded of the day? (i.e. FB “thinking of you”, emails, texts, calls, cards) OR Do you prefer to not be reminded and move forward?
- Do you need or want support or talk about it?
Work to communicate your needs to others.
- They need to know what you want and how to support you.
- Other people are generally trying to be helpful – if they aren’t gently let them know what you do need or want.
- Do you want or need to take time off of work?
- Do you want others around or spend it quiet?
Do you want to get away or stay at home?
- Staying home this year, in my quiet reflective office with my oils.
Do you want to do something special in memory of that person? Here are a few ideas myself and clients have chosen:
- Visit grave/memorial site
- Plant a plant or tree in memory of
- Put up a cross/other religious/spiritual memento
- Go down memory lane:
- Watch home video, look at photo albums, go through belongings, share stories
- Light a candle
- Cook, build, do something they would have loved or enjoyed
- Volunteer or donate to their favorite charity
- Play their music, watch their movies, read their books
- Plan a special event, memorial or church service
I’d love to hear how you cope and what If anything you do you do on your loved one’s death day? What have you found helpful? I’ve included some grief resources below that might be helpful.
Are you or someone you know struggling with change and loss? I partner with those who have been knocked down my life and want to build resiliency and move forward. I love hearing my clients joy restored and life moving forward again.
Are you or someone you know dealing with loss and grief? Who do you know that has lost someone this past year?
Register early for my FREE Webinar: Click:Grief Triage: Strategies for the Holidays
Tues. Nov. 21 @ 7pm CST
Looking for more support?
Grief Perspectives – Surviving the Holidays Program - Click here
- Starting Nov. 28, 8pm EST - 7pm CST – 5pm PST
the holidays. This is a deeper dive into how grief affects you during the holidays and can derail your joy and peace. We will move from discussion to taking positive actions to survive and possibly thrive during the holidays.
Peace, Love, & Blessings,
Teresa Bitner, PMP, M.Ed., ACC
Resiliency, Change, and Loss Specialtist
Resources for Grief Anniversaries
Celebrating Anniversaries 2
Teresa's Free Resources