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My husband's death anniversary is coming up, May 28th. It will be four years, seems like yesterday, seems a hundred years  ago -- anyone else feel the same?

Found him in the morning, unresponsive in bed. Called 911, paramedics couldn't revive, said "sorry Ma'am he's dead" --- I'm shocked, then police officer came, then CSi detective came (I guess to make sure I didn't kill him) then men in black came with black vans to take his body away ... never will forget that day...

So what does one do on the anniversary of a death?

We have no children, I have no nearby family..  so that's not an option  -- any suggestions? What to do on a death anniversary?

Thanks.

D.

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It’s been 7 years since my husband died. I try to do something that was meaningful to us both. I have kids, but my eldest was 2.5 when he died and our youngest had not been born yet. I go to the beach and talk to him or put flowers in a beautiful place he enjoyed. One year I did balloons with messages with the kids.

what ever you do, do what’s right for you and that celebrates your life together .

It has been six years for me. The first year was predictably the very hardest. He died just a few weeks short of our 50th anniversary. At that time, there was a posting here in WV that suggested we do a random act of kindness for each year. FIFTY? That thought overwhelmed me. I certainly did not have the energy to do 50 different things when I was still trying to simply put one foot in front of the other.  Then came another tragedy in our area. The Oso Mudslide in which 43 people lost their lives in an instant. Devastating to a town of only 1600. Suddenly there was an answer for me. Because I had the funds, I wrote five condolence letters with a $50 check in each -- to Search and Rescue, Oso's police and fire departments, their food bank, the hospital. One check for him, one for me, and one for each of our three children. It wasn't much but it gave me a feeling of helping and I know he would have approved.

Now those special days don't have quite the same emotion attached to them. After a couple years I found a guy who was also widowed and had been married almost 50 years and now we have lots of days to remember. The anniversaries of our weddings and birthdays and death days -- his and mine in our previous marriages -- and ours in this one. Some are happier than others. We give each other space to grieve the past when it enters our lives again. With time it feels like the rough edges have smoothed out a bit. My husband and his wife will always be a part of our relationship. One cannot wipe away almost fifty years of togetherness because that's what helped mold us to who we are now.

Each of us needs to face these anniversaries in our own way and do what feels best. Take good care of yourself. Peace.

Thanks, Barbie -- 21 years for us -- 21 acts of kindness? wow... let me digest that...  but thanks for the suggestion

Like you no children, no family other than in laws (that are great, but have their own lives). First year was tough but I have since decided to commemorate  the "good" dates like our anniversary, birthdays and holidays. In fact this Saturday is Janet's birthday and the fourth one without her. I stop at the local Catholic Shrine (I'm Lutheran) light a candle and thank God for the time we had together knowing that we will be together again. Stop at the local nursery and buy a tree, looks like another pink dogwood this year, go home plant it, make dinner, go to sleep.  Rich

Thanks Rich, I do celebrate the good dates, our wedding anniversary, his birthday, etc.  But death anniversary a whole other thing.... not a "good" anniversary..maybe I will go get some plants, my window box flowers seem to be fading.... 

Anything you want to do Dee1960. The first year I crafted and placed a cross, along with my daughter and niece, at the place of his death. I never really arranged anything after the first anniversary, though.

Pick something you both enjoyed doing and go do it. He will be there with you.

Many hugs to you.

Oh, how sweet of you -- but can't really place a cross in my living room --- I do "pick" something we enjoyed on other special days: wedding anniversary, his birthday and do that -- but death anniversary -- just want to hide.... nothing to celebrate there, still feel I need to "do something" but what?

Maybe what you need to do is something for you. It doesn't need to be celebratory. It could be as simple as sitting under a tree or at a picnic table and reading or thinking about him and remembering. I'm a big believer in the Keep It Simple, Stupid philosophy, which isn't simple at all. If the two of you enjoyed going out to dinner and you can bear to go it alone, maybe a favorite -- or new -- restaurant. Start a collection of something that reminds you of your love, even if it is a rock. You have a few more weeks and I'm confident you'll figure out something that is just right.

This isn't the place to detail why my birthdays growing up were so sad. But, every year, around my birthday (now almost 80 years), I make an angel food cake. For me. Sometimes I've eaten the whole thing before the week is out! It's a way to comfort me. So that's why I suggest you do something for YOU. Because when we grieve, we need to take care of that scared little kid inside us and comfort him/her.

I’m upset already...my dearest husband passed on my birthday.  This month has been hard ... his birthday, our wedding anniversary and June 1 is the day he passed. It’s been a hard year   I miss him so much and my life has been colorless ever since.  Not looking forward to my first birthday without him.  I think I’m just going to go to a beach and remember the happy times

Hi Dee,

You have been through hell on earth and have some terrible memories.  Let me suggest a possible beginning of a solution to you.  My wife, Susan and I, were married for 35 years when one Sunday night, 6 years ago, she went to sleep and did not wake up Monday morning.  Suffice to say, my world exploded and imploded instantly.  Gone was my best friend, my soul mate, the person that I loved more than life. 

As I progressed through the years, around year 3, I got to thinking about all the days that were important to us and to our marriage.  I also got to thinking about the pain of loss that I was going through.  With every important day filled with wonderful memories, and heart rendering, painful memories, it occurred to me that each of them was like pulling a bandage off of a partially healed wound.  I barely got time to breath between these days.  I decided that I would pick one of those days, and celebrate our love and our marriage with that one day.  I chose to give special recognition to our Anniversary.  The day, for some reason, she said "I Do" and we became husband an wife.  Consequently, each October on the 27th, I take out our Wedding Album, sit on the couch or the love seat, and I go through the pictures one at a time.  With each one I talk to her as if she were leaning up against me looking at the pictures with me.  I discuss each one .. "Did you know what they did to the car?"  I discuss my feelings with each picture.  I start off with our Anniversary picture.. "you in your Sunday best, and me in my leisure suit, barely with a beard and nearly 40 pounds under weight.  I still can't believe you actually said Yes, to my question."  

As I go through the album, page by page, picture by picture, and I talk with her, I focus on the excitement, joy, and love of that day.  When I've gone through the album, I close it and I pray.  "Thank You Lord for everything you have done for us. Thank you for our time together.  Please continue to guide me and give me the strength and courage to help me through the days ahead In Jesus's name I pray." And then I say the Lord's Prayer.  When done, I put the album away in the cedar chest in the bedroom and fix myself a dinner.

It has been six years, going onto seven for me.  Picking one day to really celebrate, and to concentrate on our love, our joy, and our marriage, and NOT MY LOSS and its pain, has helped me get by all the other ones, Birthdays, Mother's day, Christmas, Valentines Day, and the day of her death... 

It's a thought, it is what I've done, and it has helped me enormously in my walk along this path of grief.

I chose our anniversary and everything it stood for, and not the pain of my loss.

HUGS,

Frank

Dear dee do something you like together... We love music so his death anniversary  i went to a concert with a friend of us and i'm crying remember him but i imagined him smiling...take care of you ciao roxi

Diane, my friend, you can do whatever is comforting to YOU.  I know you have trouble with just doing what you want to do, you feel the need for others' approval.  I personally don't think you'd be comfortable on that day with your usual group of friends, only because of what you've told me about their different situations, but again that is your decision.  Maybe just go to the beach and enjoy the beauty.  Maybe just stay in and get through the day as best you can.  That is all I have been able to do on each of the 4 anniversaries of my husband's death.  I would not be good company for anyone on that day, and I don't want to put on the "I'm fine" mask.  I prefer to be alone with my memories, not of that day, but of the other 45 years worth.  For me, the sudden death of my husband was so traumatic it makes it impossible for me to celebrate in any way, such as sending up balloons, etc. I am still grieving his loss.  But that is me.  You need to make your own decision, and please don't let anyone make this decision for you.  I've been thinking of you as I know this is a hard month.

Linda

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