The anniversary of the death of someone dear to you can be extremely emotional, as the passing of time and the continuation of the lives around you brings feelings of loss into focus. Although enduring this time of year can be deeply challenging, creating a tradition around the anniversary is a healthy way to commemorate the life of your loved one while also giving your grief an outlet and, in some cases, bringing some good out of a difficult time. Here are some ideas of ways that you can honour the anniversary of your loved one’s death that will also help you to process your grief.
Gathering to Reflect
It’s important to remember that you are never alone in your grief, and it’s highly likely that many others are also mourning the loss of your loved one. Creating a tradition with family and friends around the anniversary is a great way to offer mutual support to everyone who continues to feel the loss. As with a funeral service, people often find comfort and solace in knowing that others are feeling the same way. You might choose to gather at your loved one’s favourite pub for a pint, or take a picnic to a nature spot that they frequented. These gatherings can reinforce your bonds with others and keep the memory of your loved one alive through shared stories.
Starting a memorial project when the anniversary rolls around is a great way to channel your grief into something more positive. Creating a memorial garden in your back garden – either in your own back garden or somewhere of significance to them in the community like a club or school – or holding an annual fundraiser for a preferred charity might just be what you need to start celebrating the life of your loved one. Each year, you can find ways to grow the project, pouring your energy into something they would have appreciated and that will benefit others in the process. Not only will you hopefully feel a sense of achievement during a time of great sadness, but you’ll also ensure that the memory of your loved one is always preserved.
Even if you already held a funeral or cremation service at the time of their death, there’s no harm in also holding a formal commemoration service in the years following. This could be held at home or their final resting place, where you can light a candle and say a few words about the deceased and the role they played in your life. Inviting those that knew them best to attend and taking turns to say something in remembrance is an inclusive way to share the day with others that feel the same loss as you. You can incorporate special music, or even recite a prayer or poem in their memory.
Need More Advice?
Everybody grieves differently: some people seek comfort in the company of others, whereas some prefer to remember alone. However you choose to honour your loved one, it is a good idea to acknowledge the emotional turbulence of this time and make plans accordingly, such as taking the day off of work or contacting your support network.
For more information on grief support or how to honour the life of someone you love,
contact Normington & Sons for bespoke funeral and memorial guidance.