Anniversaries: Ways to Remember and Celebrate the Lives of those Lost
Throughout a grief journey, you will be ‘welcomed’ by so many milestones along the way. Losing a loved one is one of the most painful things any of us will ever go through, so these milestones will probably come as quite a shock – especially in the first few years. There are going to be so many anniversaries crop up over the years; from birthdays, to wedding anniversaries, these days all affect each one of us differently. Some of us choose to go about our day-to-day lives as if it were any other day, others like to mark the occasion.
However, if you are on a new grief journey, or looking to do something different, and in need of some inspiration for ways in which you can celebrate the lives of those you have lost, here are a few things you might want to consider.
Take Time off
If you think perhaps you will struggle on a particular anniversary, always take time off of work in advance. Even if you aren’t sure whether you will do anything or not, it might be wise to have the day for yourself, should something come up.
That being said, keeping a day free might not be the best decision for you – some people like to keep their minds busy on days like these. If you aren’t sure how you’ll be feeling, always talk to your employer. If you have an open and honest conversation with them about what is going on, they may be able to support you. These conversations can be extremely painful; however, they will probably be extremely beneficial in the long run.
Visit Somewhere Special
We all have ‘the places’ where we feel close to our loved ones. You might find spending time here on anniversaries comforting, as it might allow you to feel closer to the person you have lost. Another nice thing to do, depending where this special place is, would be to pack a picnic and spend a day there.
If you are perhaps in the early stages of grief or looking to treat yourself for a loved one’s birthday (which is more than okay to do!) you may want to consider getting some memorial jewellery made. Memorial jewellery is a great way of keeping a loved one close – and it doesn’t just have to involve ashes. Some people use hair or other important items, such as an item of clothing, to create their piece of bespoke jewellery. Looking into the process of how memorial jewellery is made is fascinating and each one is beautifully unique and made to order.
There are so many more things you can do if you feel up to it, on anniversary days: playing their favourite music, looking at old photos, lighting a candle.
Whichever you choose, be that doing something specific or not – it must be the right thing for you. Don’t ever feel pressured to do anything on anniversaries if you don’t want to. If your heart is telling you that you just need to take it slowly, then do. Nobody can tell you how to grieve unfortunately, so take every day as it comes, as you try to find what helps you.
By Rebecca Thomas