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A “death-iversary” is an awkward day and a painful reminder. Every year will feel different, and every year that day will come. Usually my mind won’t accept “it” the length of time and it’s been 7 years. A lot has happened in those 7 years. Has it really been that long without a hug? A smile from her? Has it really? Because I feel like she just dropped me off for my ice skating lesson. I feel like her and I just went thrift store shopping. Didn’t we just go snowboarding for her birthday? Weren’t we just playing sequence last night? My mind says YES but reality says NO. Both sides have a firm grip on the rope and neither is giving up any ground. I know we don’t want to….BUT….shouldn’t we accept the fact that the sun comes up everyday, therefore it must go down? And don’t the flowers bloom and flourish in the spring, but in the winter they hide away? Aren’t babies born everyday, therefore death happens too? We can’t deny these truths, we must learn to deal with and balance the good and hard or else we will live miserably going against the waves, struggling or maybe even drowning.
Here are some tips that I’ve learned from my own experience that have helped guide me on my mom’s death-iversary:
- Have a plan. It helps me before hand to know what I’m going to do on that day, at least an idea even if I don’t follow it exactly. I know what’s not good for me and I know what helps me not fall into a rut. I find myself before the anniversary mark, starting to get anxious and nervous but having a plan eases my wondering mind.
- Know your biggest fear and face it. What exactly about the day makes you anxious or nervous? Getting stuck in a rut? Depression? Dwelling in it and not getting out? Flashbacks? Crying? It’s completely okay to be sad, and feel the heaviness of the day, but you can’t get stuck in it. Be stronger than your fear.
- Know that every year is different and that is okay. Don’t feel guilty if one year is easier than another year. Every year is different because you could be in a completely different place in life and have gone through different things, good or bad, the year before.
- Get out of the house. Make yourself get dressed and get out! Even if its only for a short time. Go to the beach, the park, the lake, a coffee shop, go find an incredible place to watch the sun set, or just go to the movies.
- Get it all out.
- Write them a letter. Dear Mom, I want to update you on my life…
- Eat all of their favorite things in one day! My mom was generally a healthy person but occasionally she’d splurge and it’d be mini Snickers, PayDay bars, and mint chocolate chip ice cream.
- Do something that maybe was your favorite thing to do together. For me, I went thrift store shopping because that was one of our favorite things.
- Go out with friends and family that were really close with you and your loved one and reminisce of fun memories!
- Remember, to be courageous and let this situation drive you to live life more radiantly.
Whether you have a “death-iversy” approaching or you know someone who has one approaching I hope it brings a little more cushion to your day.