How to Spend the Anniversary Day of Your Loved One’s Death

The anniversary of the passing of a loved one is a challenging day for many. Whether your loved one passed several years ago or you are approaching the first anniversary it can be a tough time. There are a few actions you can take to make this day easier on you.

Accept That This Day Is Different

The first thing to ease the process is to accept that this will be a day that brings up emotions. Trying to push down feelings and deny yourself permission to have these feelings can make the day much harder to get through.

Avoid the temptation to tell yourself that you should be “over things by now.” We all process grief in our own way and taking a day to remember your loved one and experience these feelings is part of a normal healthy grieving process.

Create Your Own Ritual That’s Right for You

Many find themselves struggling to honor the anniversary of a loved one’s passing the “right way.” The only right way is the way that brings comfort to you. An important way to do this can be to create your own ritual or event to help you mark this date each year.

Many feel obligated to visit a gravesite with flowers, but there are many other ways to honor your loved one on this day. Many now choose cremation and there may not be a gravesite to visit or a final resting place may be too far away to visit.

Here are a few ideas to help you create a ritual that is right for you:

    • Release butterflies: For many, butterflies symbolize hope, renewal and remembrance.
    • Write them a letter: This can help you communicate any complicated feelings and unresolved issues.
    • Play a favorite song or movie: You may have a memory associated with a song or a movie that you experienced together. Replaying this can bring up fond memories and help you find positive emotions on a trying day.
    • Create a memorial in their name: If your loved one was active in a cause or club, see if there are opportunities to dedicate a bench or even a brick to honor their memory.
    • Create an online tribute: If you or your loved one was active on social media, you can post on the date and ask friends and family to post their favorite memories of your loved one.

Experience the Anniversary of Your Loved One’s Passing In Your Own Way

Remember that this day is a challenging day. There is not one way to deal with whatever emotions you feel. Allow yourself permission to feel and experience whatever emotions this day brings. We all work through the passing of a loved one in our own way.