The first birthday, the first wedding anniversary, the first year of a loved one's passing is full of intense memories that brings your loss close to the surface.
When my first wedding anniversary approached, I was travelling across Russia. I climbed on board the Trans-Siberian train on the actual anniversary day,12th August. I didn’t have much time to think about being sad, I was sharing a cabin for the next 3 days with Ruth, a judo teacher from Exeter. As the train travelled across Siberia I shared my story with Ruth. In so many ways it felt good to be on the other side of the planet, away from all the harsh memories.
On my second wedding anniversary, this year didn’t want to be travelling, I wanted to be at close to home. At mid-day, I took a lots of tissues and went to Steve’s burial site and cried for an hour. When you cry that much you feel drained. I didn’t feel like doing much for the rest of the day but the following day, as if knowing what would be good for me, I’d booked onto an Airbnb Experience, a therapeutic 2 hours photo shoot around Cambridge with Aina. We had grief in common, 4 years ago her husband died. She knew I wanted photos for this website and took extra time to provide me with these amazing images. Yet another step on my journey living with loss, inspiring others along the way.
On the first anniversary of Steve’s death, I did a live Radio Tribute Show. A very moving and cathartic experience for me and my 3 sons who were part of that radio show.
The recording had been my most popular downloaded to date.
Anniversaries will come around every year and I know with time the emotional intensity will lessen. But right now when an anniversary looms, like Christmas only 2 weeks away, it can feel overwhelming.
Give it a Try
Don’t bottle up your emotions, be sad and cry if you can but always have something to look forward. Plan a trip somewhere new or an activity you have never done before.
Tomorrow is another day in the rest of your life
What do you do when those anniversaries come around?