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I am approaching the first anniversary of my husband's sudden and unexpected passing. It's just me and my grown daughter here and I'm wondering what suggestions others might have for ways to spend the day and honor him. (I feel the tears coming already). I know there is no "rule" for that day but I'd like to hear how other widows and widowers got through it. Thanks for any and all support!

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Hi Rena, and I’m very sorry for your loss. Not sure I have any suggestions but I can tell you that with many of my own “firsts”, the anticipation was way worse than the actual day. Our anniversary happened to be less than two weeks after his death so truthfully, I was far too numb to have it penetrate. We get through that first year one holiday, birthday and anniversary at a time. I’m guessing that for each of us, some particular days will be harder than others. Right now all you can focus upon is the sadness but hopefully one day, the good memories will surface as you find your peace. I hope someone here will be able to suggest something.

I didn't do anything special on that day.  However I just wanted to say as with Callie, it wasn't as bad as I anticipated.  

I had friends and family over to our house for dinner.

Hi Rena,

For now, being so new, it could wind up being a really rough time.  After a couple of years I decided on a couple of things.  First, instead of celebrating all of the "occasions" ie: birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's day, Christmas, Easter, Anniversary's, the day of her death...  It seemed like every time I would start to heal, another special day would come along and it would be like tearing a dressing off a wound, the bleeding (tears) and pain (pain of loss) would start again.  It was, for me, a kind of downward spiral.  I decided that I would honor just one day, our anniversary.  Each year since, I get out our album, sit on the couch, and go through it a page (picture) at a time.  I talk to her as if she were sitting beside me discussing each picture and the story behind it.  The first time I tried it I paused and thought of my loss, and went into a downward spiral.  From then on, and as time went by, I concentrated more and more, on the joy of our marriage and our love.  Now, I can go through the album, talk to her, tease her, and I really enjoy remembering... our love, our marriage, and the wonderful time we had together.  This last time, my two attack house cats actually joined me on the couch.  When the fog starts to lift and the pain is not constant, think about the love and the wonderful times, and ease off on the "occasions.' Pick one, and honor him, and yourself, and your marriage.

(((HUGS)))

Frank

That’s beautiful Frank. Thank you

There are some of us widows/widowers who do one random act of kindness for every year you would have been married on your anniversary date.   It can become kind of a fun day because you are doing things for other people.    Usually, I will put gift cards on random peoples' cars, buy lunch or dinner for someone if I am eating out, hold the door open for someone, send a campership to Soaring Spirits so someone can attend Camp Widow.      This year, I plan to send a check to Cal State Fullerton to replenish the scholarship I endowed in her name.     There are many things you can do and it will give you a good feeling.      Like you hear about Martin Luther King Day,  make your anniversary day a day on, not a day off.

I like that. Focus outward rather than inward. Thanks!

Hi Rena. I don't know your anniversary date, but I hope you were able to do something to honor your husband and to comfort yourself and your daughter. It is a difficult decision. It seems such an important milestone that it should be marked in a meaningful way.

My daughter, niece and I had a shot of my husband's favorite single malt scotch and placed a cross that I made at the site of his death. This was actually the weekend before the anniversary since it worked out better for my daughter and niece. On the actual day, I was not good. I thought I would be fine keeping a low profile, but my emotions got the better of me. My Netflix was giving me problems and all I wanted to do was watch my series and zone out. My daughter was trying to talk me through correcting it on the phone and it didn't go well. I hung up yelling and crying. We connected the next day and we both realized it was just a hard day for both of us.

My best to you.

I didn't do anything special on that first anniversary.  I marked his birthday that year with some of his old friends but I spent the day alone, I didn't want to have to put on a brave face that day if I was around other people (and I really didn't want anyone to see me lose it if that had happened too).  It was a quiet, reflective day for me. I hope you and your daughter find something nice to do together that day. 

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