Dealing with grief on the anniversary of a death

When a person dies, a lot of people talk about the difficulty of those first few months without that person. You go through the stages of grief such as sadness, anger and fear before finally accepting the death. However, even after those initial months have passed, there will be times when grief rears its ugly head again. The anniversary of a death brings up the feelings of loss and can be a difficult time for friends and family.

Here is some guidance on dealing with grief on the anniversary of a death. 

Remember the loved one

It’s not a good idea to try to avoid the subject of the person who has died on the anniversary of their death. If you bottle up your grief, you will end up feeling an overwhelming sadness. It will prove an awkward situation for others as they won’t know whether to bring up the anniversary. Therefore, the best thing you can do to help you to deal with your grief is to remember the loved one.

Visiting their final resting place, or hosting a small family gathering, can bring you some peace and is a great way to show your respect. Or it might be the case you look through photos or old letters from your loved one to help with the grief on that significant date. As it says on this guide on how to deal with grief, you could display memorial keepsakes, or memorial jewellery to help you remember the person who has departed. They will bring you some comfort and help you to deal with your grief.

Talk to others about how you feel

While you may want your space when dealing with your grief on an anniversary, it’s not always good to keep your grief to yourself. It can be overwhelming and difficult to deal with on your own. Instead, turn to a friend or family in your time of need. Speaking to someone else will help you to open up and release those feelings. You will feel a better when you have opened up to someone.

Try to find a friend who will just listen without judgement. After all, you don’t want someone who will try to tell you how to feel. You are not looking for a resolution; you just need someone who will listen and let you cry on their shoulder during this difficult day.

Don’t be afraid to talk to others who knew the person who departed. Sharing fond memories of the loved one can help you reminisce and remember the person who has passed on.

Find a tradition to celebrate their life

To help you cope when the anniversary does come around, you should consider creating a new tradition for the day. That way, the day becomes more than just a sombre day where a loved one passed.

It might be the case that you organize a family get-together every year on that date. Spending time with your loved ones will be something to look forward to every year and will help you with your grief. You can all reminisce together about the person who died and try to create new memories in their honour.

Another consideration is to make a donation every year on the anniversary of their death. Choose a charity they cared about and then you can donate while remembering them. Doing something which will help others will also help you with your grief. Anything to distract you and keep you busy is incredibly useful during this difficult day.

Write a letter to your loved one

While you may often miss the person who has died, it’s always a lot more difficult on the anniversary of their death. All you want to do is see and talk to that person. While you can’t bring them back, it’s a good idea to write them a letter. Writing down all your feelings will help your grief during the sad time. It might be that you tell them how much you miss them and how you wish they were here with you. You might feel like you want to tell them everything that has happened since they have gone. Putting your thoughts and feelings in the letter will give you a chance to say what you need to the departed person.


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