Mourning the loss of a loved one takes time. Although the pain never fully goes away, you become stronger as time passes. It seems that just when your life starts to return to some resemblance of normalcy, you reach a milestone or significant date that re-opens the wounds you’ve been working so hard to heal. Maybe it’s your loved one’s birthday, or your wedding anniversary, or the anniversary of their death. Though these milestones are inevitable and incredibly tough to get through, you don’t have to sit around and suffer through the day alone. Here are 10 things to do on the anniversary of your loss:
1. Visit Your Loved One
The anniversary of your loss is a great visit your loved one at the cemetery or place where you laid him or her to rest. Stop by the store and pick up a bouquet of flowers or a candle that you can light at their marker. Spend a few moments, say a few words or a prayer to keep in touch with your loved one.
2. Look at Photographs
Keep the memory of your loved one alive by revisiting your favorite pictures. Seeing him or her smile and looking at pictures of the two of you together is going to be emotional, so allow yourself to cry if you want.
3. Get Away
Plan a trip for the anniversary of your loss. Even if it’s just to a bed & breakfast in the neighboring town. Sometimes a little get-away is just the thing to rejuvenate and connect with your loved one on the anniversary of their death.
4. Spend Time with Family
The anniversary of your loved one’s death is not just hard on you. The entire family is going through the same thing you are, so make plans to get together with the family for a day of remembrance.
5. Do an Activity That You Used to do with Your Loved One
Think about your favorite pastime to do with your loved one and find some time to do it on the anniversary. Play your favorite game or dine at your favorite restaurant in honor of your loved one.
6. Write a Letter
You’ve always got thoughts of your loved one swirling around in your mind. On the anniversary of your loss these thoughts are going to be magnified times ten. Take some time to write down your thoughts and pen your loved one a letter.
7. Treat Yourself
Recognize the fact that the anniversary of your loss is going to be a tough day and block out some time to treat yourself. Make an appointment at the spa or treat yourself to a nice dinner. Give yourself something to look forward to on a day that you otherwise wouldn’t.
8. Dedicate a Mass or Religious Service
In most churches, you have the opportunity to dedicate a service to a lost loved one. Arrange for a special service to be said in the name of your loved one on his or her anniversary. Invite friends and family to celebrate in prayer with you.
9. Spend Time Outdoors
For some people, the outdoors offers a close connectivity with a lost loved one. If the weather is nice that day, spend some time outside. Find a quiet beach, a pretty hiking trail or wooded path to be at one with nature and alone with your thoughts and your loved one.
10. Watch a Movie
Unwind and unplug at the end of the day with a movie. It doesn’t have to be of any significance, but if you have one that you and your loved one liked to watch together, put it on.
Have you already experienced an anniversary? What are some things you did that day to get through the day?