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My husband died on March 12, 2011. Our fourth wedding anniversary is on April 28th. I would like to do something special. I am thinking of doing a butterfly release on the beach where we were married. I would like to take my daughter and perhaps a friend to entertain her while I have some time to myself. I have not been down to his grave site yet. It is 1.5 hours away from me and I just don't think I am ready for that yet.


What did you do on your anniversary?  

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Yours is so new, MH, just be kind to yourself and only do what you feel you can handle.

I already have an approved leave slip from my boss to take that day off (August 23) and also the anniversary of his death (September 22). I don't yet know what I'll do - but I do know I don't want to be at work where I feel the need to act "normal". Had thought about traveling somewhere that was special to us to spread some of his ashes, but I'll be at Camp Widow earlier that month and can't afford two trips. I look forward to hearing what others have done.

My husband died one month to the day before our 15th wedding anniversary.  I honestly have no idea what I did that first year.  I was so alternating between so much pain and being so numb I really have no recollection.  The last 2 years I have gone to the beach to walk, he LOVED waking on the beach, and have also visited the cemetery and taken flowers (which he would think was a total waste of money, but I figure one of us should have flowers on our anniversary!!!).  We have done bigger remembrances on his birthday and on the anniversary of the day he died.   But I agree with the others.  Your loss is so fresh, just do what feels "right" and what you feel you can do.

I lit candles and looked through pictures as long as I could.... It was just to painful and sad... Our 17th wedding anniversary will be April 23rd... It seems this is the saddest day of the year. All other holidays include other people, this was our special day... Oh how I miss my husband. This will be my third one alone.


I visited the place we got married, too. It was by a beautiful river. A few weeks before our anniversary I had taken his ashes to California for final disposition in the places where he loved to hang glide. I saved just a tiny bit and had kind of private, special ceremony all by myself. My anniversary didn't come til 11 mos. after he died, so maybe it was a little bit easier, idk. Seem to recall falling apart.


My advice is to just go with the flow of the day. If you have a friend or family member to spend the day with you it would help. It won't be an easy day, but you will get through it, as all of us have gotten through it.


As a consequence of losing my husband I no longer pay much attention to fulfilling some notion of exactly what I should do, or how I should act, on the significant days that more typically are observed in some way. His birthday, our anniversary, the death anniversary--all those *days* I get through much better if I just treat them like any other day.

My husband passed away in October of 09 and our 10th anniversary was the following December 29th.  I felt so fucking cheated that I missed the 10th.  I didnt do anything though if I can recall...I think the kids and I went to our favorite restaurant that we all loved.  And just before that, I had bought myself a real coach bag from Macy's.  He had said he'd buy me one for my 29th birthday a few months before but I wouldnt let him because we just couldn't afford them.  So I bought it for myself for our anniversary :)
Thanks everyone for your replies. I can't believe he is not here. It still catches me off guard sometimes. How is he not here?
My husband passed away 6 months before our 5th anniversary.  Last year a group of friends, my son and I went to Ray and I's favorite restaurant Texas Road House and had a good time laughing and talking about Ray.  A week before our anniversary I got a tattoo as a memorial to him.  This year we didn't do anything special, my son and I just hung out together.  I think going to the place were you got married and letting butterfly's go is an awesome idea.

I have tried to really think through the yearly event's we had together. I have been widowed three years. This June 27 would have been our 30th wedding anniversary, I only got 26 1/2 with her. I am careful not to have traditions because I didn't want to tie the kids to them. Of the four of them my two oldest have visited the gravesite, the two younger ones  have not, even though I have asked them to help me place flowers or Christmas wreaths on the stone, I feel that it is there choice and I respect that. I have often asked them if there was something special we should do for those days. They just like us all to be together. Mother's day is the toughest with all the commercials and all. this year my youngest and I will visit my third daughter and college and stay overnight and have a nice shopping day together.


I remember my first time to visit the gravesite. I went alone, I felt paralysed and wished someone would come get me, no on did. It was terrifying, however, later on I went to a grief counselor who encouraged me to do things that would bring the grief out of me. One thing I did was sit at the gravesite and contemplate the time we had together. Then I would go home and look at old family pictures. After that, I usually felt a release of sorts and was able to return to the planet.



In the first few weeks I was at the cemetery every day, finding reasons to go, things to do, had some plants in within the first week.  Hannah and I regularly go to the cemetery still, it's not far from home, and with a slight detour we can pass by on the way home.  Sometimes Hannah wants to stay in the truck, other times she wants to get out, on nice days she'll often run around that part of the cemetery as if it's a park.  I'll sometimes just go to make sure that the solar lights are working, or to remove some leaves.  For mother's day we'll do the spring planting together, we make a day of it, bringing snacks and our gardening bags, a little chair for her in case she wants to take a break.  I've been torn about adding too many perennials, as then I won't have as much to do each year, so we've been planting mostly annuals, or changing out the plants anyway as the seasons change so there is always something in bloom.
My kids don't have a grave site to go to, as my husband was cremated and we have his ashes in an urn here in the house. They're high up on our bookshelf.  But they write to him in his memory book, and talk about him all the time.

I am so sorry for your loss, MissHim.  I know your anniversary is passed already. I hope you had support that day.  You'll go to his gravesite when you're ready, and you will know when that is.  My husband, Tom, died on Feb. 7, 2010, and our anniversary was March 15. I didn't have much choice on how I spent that day, as on March 14 we were flooded, with 50+ inches of water in the cellar, so I spent what should have been my 15th wedding anniversary throwing out the contents of my cellar.  I almost think it was a "blessing" (if you can call it that) because I was so busy that day. Plus, I was able to handle a pretty big disaster without the house falling down around me, so when I came out of the other side of that very dark period of time, well, I guess I felt stronger than I expected.


It's still hard to get through some days, and some days are worse than others.  My worst day so far was just recently, when I finally got around to rewriting my  will, and came to the realization that I'm not leaving all my worldly goods to my husband anymore. That was a kick in the stomach, let me tell you.  But the days get better, even if it's only moment-by-moment.  Take good care of yourself.

I'm new to Widowed Village, but in just a few days it will be our first Wedding anniversary...  it really is such a strange mix of emotions for me - joy that I was fortunate enough to marry my best friend, but such a deep sadness that we never even got to experience our very first anniversary together.  So many days I cannot believe that he is gone; that after 6 years of waiting to marry him, we only got to spend 6 weeks together after the wedding. Then, he was admitted to the hospital with something as seemingly trivial as the flu... unconscious by the next day... only to find out that he would never get over it. 

Anyway, I wasn't sure what to do on our anniversary Friday... but I've decided to spend it with my MIL and SIL, and watch our Wedding video and remember the joy of that day.  Perhaps we will defrost the top layer of the Wedding cake, and try, even with eyes full of tears, to enjoy it. I thought about trying to travel to his gravesite, but I just don't know if I'm strong enough yet.  Does anyone else have any suggestions or special traditions that help you get through this emotional yet important occasion?


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