Techniques for Handling Challenging Anniversaries After a Death

By: Tom Gallagher
Wednesday, June 7, 2017

After a life spent celebrating anniversaries and letting the good times roll it can be an incredibly difficult adjustment when that time comes around again after a loved one has passed away. All the things that you have done together in the past, along with all the good memories, can come flooding back. This isn’t always a good thing and often has clear negative emotions that can lead to depression or worse. 

An anniversary is a time when people come together to celebrate their being together and the connection that they share with each other. Finding that an anniversary is approaching after the death of a loved one is generally met with a sense of unease for many people. First of all, if you do decide to carry on with your usual plans, in order to keep hold of your traditions, it can seem like you are celebrating without them. It must be said that maintaining these anniversaries doesn’t have to be depressing or a sign that you’re ready to move on.

They should, in fact, be allowed to carry on, albeit with a different meaning attached to it. Instead of sharing new experiences together, this is a time for fond remembrances and a celebration of a life lived to the absolute fullest. This can be an important part of the grieving process and ensures that the memory of your loved one will carry on. We are sure they will appreciate that you took the time to honour them while still moving forward and remaining positive. Maintaining traditions is also a way to remain connected to those who are no longer with us and many people get an incredible sense of comfort after the fact, even if the actual activity is difficult.

Sadness and grief are completely natural emotions to be overcome with at these times and opening yourself up to those emotions can be an overwhelmingly therapeutic experience in the long run. They help you come to terms with your loss while also realizing that life does move on and you can still find happiness without worrying about feeling guilty or remorseful about it. As we already mentioned, your loved ones would want you to make the most of the time you had together, not dwell too much on their loss. 

If you’re finding it hard to face a difficult anniversary after the death of a loved one, you are not alone. If maintaining the same specific traditions that you used to enjoy now brings too much grief to the forefront of your mind we recommend you develop new traditions that are still in keeping with your original plans, but have less personal impact. Given enough time you should be able to face a previous anniversary location, but this process is by no means a straightforward one. We are all unique and experience grief and sadness in a myriad of different ways. The important thing here is maintaining and saving the date, even if the actions taken differ from those of the past. This way you can maintain your anniversary and all the good times associated with it, all while avoiding any negative emotions that may hinder your ability to heal. 

Whether you choose to adopt new traditions that allow you to move forward or find solace and comfort in those that you have always maintained, we here at Thomas Gallagher are here to help. If you have any further questions or require any additional assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. The road to recovery can be a long one, but we are here to ensure that you don’t have to go it alone.

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