How to Mark a Death Anniversary
Update: Solace is now Tulip Cremation, the nation’s largest online direct cremation services provider, delivering world-class and compassionate care 24/7.
It has been just over a year since Jacqueline Revere, aka “MomOfMyMom” on social media, lost her mother after six years of daily caregiving.
The millennial caregiver told her followers that she recently asked her dad to come over to help her move her mother’s ashes into an urn shortly after the anniversary of her death.
“It was a very emotional moment. But he showed up. I cried. I feel like the circle is now complete,” she said.
The anniversary of a loved one’s death can be tough for many. Like holidays, it can be remind you of your grief all over again. Some have coined the term “deathiversary,” “deathversary” or “angelversary,” but despite the clever names, it can often be a seriously difficult day.
Patti LaFleur, another millennial caregiver active in social media, lost her mom to dementia about a year ago as well. She says the days leading up to an anniversary are the most challenging because “they are filled with anticipation, worry and unmeasurable grief.”
LaFleur offered these tips for getting through the day:
- Do something to honor or celebrate your loved one.
- Enjoy their favorite meal, have their favorite treat, do something they loved.
- Find a way to honor them: volunteer, plant flowers, donate to a charity in their name.
- Visit them if your heart allows. I bring my mom’s favorite flowers to her niche.
- Do something for yourself. Take the day off (if you can), don’t over plan, feel your feelings, journal, sleep, whatever feels right for you.
- Notify your support team: Tell the people closest to you (if they don’t already know) that it is a big day for you and that you may need extra love. Tell them specifically what that looks like (give me space, order a meal, distract me, let me be).
Vivian Nunez, the writer, creator and pod host of Happy To Be Here recently wrote about death anniversaries in her Substack newsletter and says that the best plan is to make two plans. She wrote, “Plan for the version of you who wants to do things and the version of you who wants to do absolutely nothing.”
Nunez wrote, “If grief is complicated, a death anniversary is its physical manifestation.”
Like Nunez, Revere knows that grief can be complicated. She says while there is no one-size-fits-all way to grieve, the most consistent thing that’s helped her as she’s mourned her mom is for people to “share stories of how her mother impacted them in a positive way.”
So if you are facing a difficult holiday or anniversary or just missing your loved one, Revere says remembering the stories about your loved one can be healing. She says, “just start there.”
Solace is now Tulip Cremation, the nation’s largest online direct cremation services provider, delivering world-class and compassionate care 24/7.
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