Dealing with Grief on the Anniversary of a Loved One’s Passing
by Taylor Evans December 03, 2021 4 min read
Processing grief following the departure of a loved one is no simple process. Often, we spend time mourning the recent loss of a loved one, slowly coping and learning to manage life without them. One of the biggest and often unexpected challenges of dealing with loss comes at the anniversary of that loved one’s passing.
The range of emotions as an anniversary of a passing approaches can range from anger to sadness to desperation or sorrow. What often makes it so challenging is the unexpected state of emotion that arises as an anniversary approaches. While we may grieve in our own ways, many find solidarity and comfort in the ways to deal with grief during an anniversary. Read on to learn some of these ways and to find out how to best remember your loved one this year.
Talk to family and friends about the deceased.
For some, simply having the opportunity to openly talk about and remember a loved one can be a significant part of the healing process. Some of us are afraid of the notion of forgetting someone, and opening a shared dialogue often helps one feel like although someone may no longer be with us in person, their memory remains strong.
We are granted the gift of beautiful and loving memories so that we have something to cling to in some of our darkest moments. To openly share and talk about those memories, it can leave us feeling reconnected in remembrance. Remembering a loved one is a way of experiencing the beauty of a rose in what feels like the darkest and coldest of times.
It often helps to have these conversations be focused on positive, enjoyable memories like vacations or travels abroad. It might be about a particular holiday or family gathering. It may even be small memories of simple, yet humorous moments, seemingly insignificant yet momentous.
Create a memento or token to remember them by.
To have a permanent or concrete item to be able to hold and cherish year after year can be a powerful reminder that those we have lost still remain with us in our hearts. Cremation jewelry, for example, is one such way to carry the memory of someone long after they’ve passed.
A mere pinch of the cremated ashes from an urn of a loved one can be placed inside certain, specially made pieces of jewelry. cremation jewelry bracelets with small pendants are small, subtle, and can easily be worn as part of one’s everyday attire. On the other hand, stunning and exquisite cremation necklace with pendants for ashes that can be worn for birthdays, anniversaries, or other special occasions are another option.
Often, these cremation jewelry pieces can even be selected to match alongside the cremation urn for the ashes of a loved one, as well. With an abundance of options including necklaces, bracelets, pendants, beads, and more, it is easy to select a piece of cremation jewelry that lovingly reminds you of someone from your own life who has since passed.
Consider creating a tradition
or annual activity to remember them by.
Humans by nature are creatures of comfort and when we have routines or traditions in place, they may help us feel stable, grounded, and comforted. For this reason, it may be helpful in your healing process to consider establishing a tradition to partake in to help remember a loved one.
This may be a tradition you hold with immediate family members, or an entire group of friends and family, or it might even be something to simply do by yourself in remembrance. It depends what is best for you and what you feel comfortable with.
For example, it is often common for individuals to revisit the final resting place of a loved one, whether buried under ground, ashes spread in a special location, or cremation urn for ashes that have been placed in a columbarium. Revisiting their place of rest may help one feel close again to their loved one. Some even choose to create an activity, like selecting a loved one’s favorite flowers at a local flower shop and dropping them off in a place of rest. It might be bringing a cupcake to sing “happy birthday” on the anniversary of a birthday or passing. It might be to read a chapter in memory from a favorite beloved book.
With everyone dealing with their grief in unique ways, how you chose to remember a loved one depends on how you wish to process your loss. Some families may even choose to use it as a reason to get together and have a meal together or a stroll on a beach. Being able to get together over dinner and share memories is a way to turn something sorrowful into a new opportunity for new memories and old remembrances.
Another way to establish a tradition is to think of what a loved one cherished. Perhaps they had a particularly strong love for animals, or maybe education or veterans. Making a yearly donation in their honor can also help you remember them regularly. Maybe your tradition is to volunteer for a day in their honor.
Find your own way to process and grieve.
The thing about anniversaries is that they come every year. Some often say that while our grief does not shrink over time, we do find ways to live around that grief. You may be surprised that year after year on the anniversary you feel the same amount of grief. Our love for those around us remains strong, but we find ways to grow our love around our grief year after year. The challenge of facing the anniversary of a death may be a daunting task, but by planning and preparing oneself to deal and cope with that anniversary, we learn to love, remember, and cherish those we’ve lost, while finding ways to continue on in our own lives.
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