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LisaAnnB

Continue To Send Anniversary Cards Or Not/

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My question tonight is: when a spouse [my Dad] dies do you continue to celebrate their wedding anniversary with the surviving spouse? Dad died less than 12 hrs after he & mom "celebrated" their 63rd wedding anniversary. Do we get Mom an anniversary card or just one saying "thinking of you'? We'll be going up there to be with her on the 26th & honor Dad as a family but I"m so used to automatically buying an anniversary card for her. Didn't see this question in any of the grief protocol pamphlets we received.

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I'm glad you've asked this question, Lisa Ann, and I hope that several of our widowed members will respond, because they will come from the perspective of how they would feel if they were the recipient of such a card. Still, I also believe that you know your mom better than any of us, and you are in the best position to judge how she would react. Perhaps the best approach would be to take your mom aside and share with her exactly what you've shared with us: that you want to acknowledge the importance of this day by giving her a card, but you didn't know which type of card would work best, and you certainly didn't want to add to her pain and sorrow. What really matters here is that you care enough to know that this is a special day for her, packed with whatever meaning she attaches to it, and you want to be there for her in any way that feels supportive to her. That, it seems to me, is the message you want to convey to her.

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Everyone is different so it's important to be sensitive to how your mom is feeling. Our church always listed birthdays and anniversaries in our church directory, and I remember one widow getting really upset that they listed her anniversary. She spouted off about how she doesn't have an anniversary now, and it was upsetting to her, etc. Some people feel differently though.

I think most of us feel it is the anniversary that we would have had...it certainly doesn't feel like our anniversary anymore as our other half isn't here to celebrate it with us. It doesn't feel much like a day of celebration anymore, but definitely a day we will always remember, and sometimes it's a day that is hard to get through.

I would let her know you are thinking of her. If it's possible, make plans to spend some time with her, maybe take her out to dinner. A thinking of you card would seem more appropriate than an anniversary card. You might broach the subject with her and let her know you're thinking of her...trust me, she has not forgotten what day it is so while ignoring it and hoping not to remind her is what most people's reaction would be, that's not necessarily the best course of action.

How nice to have someone so sensitive to their mom's feelings! My dad passed nearly 32 years ago, and I made sure to spend time with my mom on that day or at least call her, and we'd talk about daddy. She said I'm the only one that does (and I have five siblings).

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Lisa,

How very thoughtful of you! As I face that special day alone next month for the first time in 41 years, I peronally like the thought of receiving a "Thinking Of You " card, not an anniversary one. I would appreciate the thought of my kids takling me to dinner or just visiting, if they were able. One of the ladies in my local widows support group has related to us that her oldest son never fails to take her to dinner on that day to carry on the tradition for his father.

Karen

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Thanks. I want her to continue to have happy thoughts about that day & their lives together, especially as she knows the next day will mark the day she lost her husband. While her short term memory is the same as a gold fish due to the dementia her long term memory is wonderful & she remembers him following her home from school & asking her out, even. We will be with her the next day when we go up to honor & remember Dad by taking Mom out for dinner, then to the cemetary & to Mass where they'll be saying a special mass in memory of Dad.

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To me an anniversary is between those 2 people, nobody else. I can understand why that woman in church was angry; it just highlighted the fact that he's no longer around and that those anniversaries are no more. Truth be told, I wouldn't ever want a card from anyone but her before, so certainly want no such thing now. But as you all have said, everyone is different.....and her dementia throws a curve ball into the whole equation. Also as have others have said, you know her best and should try to take whatever cues from her you can and go from there. If she doesn't seem to recall that it's coming up, why point it out? I think just being with her as you mention above is plenty, but that's just my .02.

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I don't think there's a chance in the world that she doesn't remember it's coming up unless she has dementia. Some send anv. cards to family members as a way of acknowledging that special day they are celebrating. But when you've lost your spouse, it's no longer the same. I still think a "thinking of you" card would be appropriate. To ignore the day completely leaves one feeling like the whole world moved on but them...to us who are left here without our spouses, we do not forget our anniversaries, but the day no longer is the same for us. Still we have not forgotten, and often can feel alone in what we are going through. I would welcome a thinking of you card on our anniversary or other special day, but to this day, they have not been forthcoming.

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I wish there were cards available— Remembering Your Anniversary... even though your loved one is....no longer here, keep them close, keep them dear.

 

it might be an awkward card for casual friends to give, I think it is something that surviving children need, especially in the few years after a passing....  if their parents were still together when the death occurred.  The void is still there for them.

 

Plus, my dad is in early dementia and sundowning.  He still talks about my mom as if he’s got to run an errand for her—-it has to drive her to an appointment....

 

 

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@Deejayzee7781  Welcome here!  I think you're onto a great idea, it's be worth suggesting it to Hallmark!

I'm sorry to hear about your dad too, my mom had dementia, stage IV and passed almost five years ago.  I have an e-book on it that is simple and short but was very helpful to me, if you want to message me your email address, I'll send it to you.

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