Jump to content
Grief Healing Discussion Groups

What happened to good anniversaries?

Recommended Posts

Thursday was the one year anniversary of Steve's death.  There was 2 weeks of anticipation.  From previous experiences with anticipation, it seemed that was the worst as I did my usual volunteer day and did fine.  I was not naive that this wouldn't be significant at some point.  I made til about 9pm and everything crashed in.  I had a panic attack and couldn't breathe.  Eating dinner is a blur.  It took some Xanax to stop the fear and leave just the horrific pain.  I've known he has been dead for so long, I am trying to understand why this date trumps all others.  Nothing changed in the hell I have been living since he left.  Is there some purpose served by taking the daily pain of a year and amplifying it to a point you feel you would rather die?   Where you look at all the triggers you have seen day after day and make you blind with deep despair?  Is it the remembrance (for me) of that phone call saying he had passed before I could get that day?  Is it seeing that this has changed my life forever and no amount of time will ever restore the life I once lived with the only person I will ever truly love and now know that love cannot be returned in ways a human being needs like touch, talk, knowing you have someone you can trust with anything and that always was there good or bad?  These are not questions I expect anyone to have answers to.  I just needed someplace to say that I expected it to tough, but I had no idea how hard it could hit.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gwenivere, I am so so sorry. Who knows why these days hit us the hardest and you are right who has answers? Certainly not me. The first anniversary I think is particularly significant because up until that day you can say 'this time last year life was normal. I was happy, he was here with me' then you suddenly can't utter those words again. My husband passed 3 months ago and I even dread 2015 finishing (although it has been the worst year of my life) because it will be the last year he even lived part way through on this earth. My life will now, forever be measured specific time. 'When HE was here' and 'When HE left'

Gwenivere, you have lived through one whole year without him. It will feel hopeless and empty now, but when you consider what you have lost, what we all have lost,  this fact alone is nothing short of a little triumph, a miracle. xx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gwenivere this first anniversary is always hard. My support through hospice provided counseling through the first thirteen months for a reason. That first year mark is known to be hard and though it may seem like a long time that you have known Steve has been gone, it still is very fresh and raw. There will be in time good anniversaries to remember.

I agree with you Debi. It does feel hopeless and empty at the first year. I still remember dates like when we first became aware of the cancer or when we realized the fight was over. Those are the days I wish I could forget. Having lost my wife on my daughter in laws birthday mixes up the demark and having my dad die on our wedding anniversary five months later mixes up his demark too. Maybe I'm lucky or maybe not but these days, I try to find happiness on their birthdays and focus on good memories. It has slowly come to pass.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The "anniversary" of his death always hits me, no matter how much time passes.  The fact I do it alone is doubly hard (he died on Father's Day so everyone is always celebrating with their families).  And because so much time has passed, people assume I'm okay.  I'm not okay.  I'll never be okay.  I just get through it, I have no choice.

I am so sorry...there's nothing anyone could do to stop this day from having to be gotten through, yet we know how hard it is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I totally get it Kay about always being hard. I just was speaking to the first one as having never experienced it before. I can see how Father's day makes it so much sadder and I can only imagine how much harder it is for you . I forget sometimes when I think of the distraction I have for that day and how it isn't like that for most people. On the very day Kathy died, I was trying not to show my trauma for my DIL's sake.  I think I eluded to the fact that I didn't know if she hadn't passed before midnight but I knew otherwise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is something I found randomly on the internet and copied into my first post on this forum  in July 2013, two months after Ron left. It still rings true for me today. Perhaps it is one of the reasons there are only those "bad" anniversaries.

Unique and Devastating Loss (by WifeLess)


With the death of our spouse (which here includes fiancée, significant other,
partner, etc.), we grieve the loss of so much more than someone we merely
loved or were close to, like a parent, grandparent, sibling, friend or pet. We
grieve instead the loss of: The one we loved most deeply, cherished and felt
the very closest to. The one we swore commitment to in that unique human
bond of marriage, which many consider sacred. The one we shared the
ultimate partnership with to live as one and perhaps bear children with. The
one who embodied our true sense of home. The one who was our best friend
and who was to be our companion for life. The one we confided in, depended
on and trusted most. The one who really knew, understood and accepted us
as we were. The one we felt safe and protected with. The one we shared
private moments and intimate feelings with. The one we mated souls with.

But it is not just that this most precious person has been torn from our life,
as unbearably heartbreaking as that alone is. With the death of our spouse,
and only of our spouse, many additional profound losses must be grieved as
well. For we also suffer: The loss of who we ourselves were while with them.
The loss of the couple we were once half of. The loss of the life partnership
we once formed. The loss of the husband or wife role we once embraced.
The loss of the life we once lived. The loss of the plans we once made. The
loss of the dreams we once shared. The loss of the future we once envisioned.

Amidst all this, we are also suddenly confronted with many hardships we
never expected to face at this point in our life. Besides financial survival,
increased domestic burdens and perhaps single parenting, additional
challenges less apparent to others but all too real and terrifying to us. We
must now find it within ourselves: To create a new identity. To redefine
our role in life. To establish a new connection to the world. To build a new
network of social relationships. To discover a new sense of purpose. To
formulate a new set of goals. To decide on a new direction for our future.

And we must accomplish these without dishonoring our former life, but while
suppressing bittersweet memories of that life, so that they not hold us back.
Memories of happier times mostly, but also those of our spouse’s death,
either sudden and shocking or after prolonged illness. We must further
endure the feelings of guilt and disloyalty that follow us as we attempt to
forget and move forward, but with our heartstrings tied so tightly to the past.

And all these tasks must be taken on at the lowest possible point of our life in
the worst state imaginable. When we are the weakest, most vulnerable, most
insecure, most isolated, most heartbroken and most emotionally exhausted
we have ever been. Without that one person we long ago became accustomed
to relying on to help get us through life's greatest challenges. The one who,
just by being there, would have provided us emotional comfort and moral
support to draw upon, as well as the strength and confidence we need to
complete those tasks and so much more. But now we face all this alone.

Profound indeed is the death of our spouse. Unique and devastating. For
nearly all of us, much more catastrophic to our life than the loss of any other.
And truly comparable, many of us widows and widowers often feel, to one
other death only. Ours.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I can focus on good memories for George's birthday or our anniversary...but there are for me no good memories for Father's Day but only his death.  Perhaps with my son now being a Father I can try and focus on that on Father's Day now.


Yes it describes very well all we have to go through, and not all, but merely what all of us have in common...to many of us, so much more besides!  There is not paper enough or ink enough to describe all we go through in our loss of that one person!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thank you all for your replies.  I am still reeling a bit today after the intensity of what I experienced last night.  Not quite sure of what to do with myself yet.

Karen, I so thank you for posting the article you found.  I have copied that to keep as it so accurately puts into words what this does to us for the rest of our lives.  Having to accept this huge loss while trying to live on alone and redefine ourself.  I always felt I lost my 'job' when Steve died, even the horrid one of being his caregiver an watching him slip away slowly over 5 years.   The last being the ultimate nightmare when his mind was compromised as well as his body.  I lost him about 2 months before his actual death.  That is the time I wish I could erase and maybe time will help.  

Debi, I can understand your feelings about 2015 as it does become a time of when they were here and he they were not.  I was still in shock mode thru the holidays last year.  So in a way, they feel like they will be firsts again this year without that protection.

if it worked, i would have only one request from Santa and that would be that nine if us were here.  But since that is not possible and we fi have to be here, I am so grateful for all if you.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gwenivere ,   Lost my job is a great way to put it..........I feel the same way......My caregiving/advocate duties was my full time occupation...Now I feel I have very little purpose.      I am filling the time with new interests, but there still is a lot of empty time.....Put my name in to be a night time volunteer at the homeless shelter.......one or two nights per week over the winter......... 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kevin, I think finding purpose again is one of the hardest parts of this journey.  Having been a volunteer myself for over 20 years has really helped.  I hope you find that works for you.  Helping others is so rewarding not just for what we give them, but for what they give us.  It's 2 days a week that I know I can do something outside myself.  Much like I did with Steve.  It's not the same, of course, but we need human connection.  Without it, we would wither inside even more.  Let us know if you get it!  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...