Ways to Remeber Your Loved One’s Death Anniversary

Remembering Your Loved One's Death Anniversary


By the time the first anniversary of your loved one’s death approaches, you’ve made it through a host of tough days. It is important to find ways to remember your loved one’s death anniversary.

You may find that your grief and anxiety build in the days and weeks before the anniversary. For some, the anticipation is worse than the actual anniversary. So, how will you spend the death anniversary? Will you go to work/school? Do you want to spend the day alone or with friends/family? Or maybe some of each? There is no right or wrong answer to these questions, just as there is no right or wrong way¬†to feel. Your grief is unique and it’s important to honor whatever feels right for you.

Here are a few ideas, but the possibilities are endless:Remembering Your Loved One's Death Anniversary

  • light a candle
  • Listen to music
  • Organize a remembrance dinner, a time to reminisce with family/friends, cook or go out to your loved one’s favorite restaurant
  • Meditate
  • Visit the cemetery
  • Pray or visit your place of worship
  • Write – journal, poetry, song
  • Go to the beach or on a hike
  • Look through photos or videos
  • Release some balloons
  • Make a donation to charity in his/her memory

The important thing is that you honor both yourself and your loved one.

I strongly suggest you limit alcohol/drugs (even caffeine) or anything else you may use to numb your feelings (food, internet, etc). Healing requires feeling your feelings, not numbing out or avoiding. Acknowledging that this is a tough time allows you to be gentle with yourself. Perhaps adjust your expectations, don’t take on extra work, get enough rest. It’s also a good time to reach out for help.

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Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Sharon Martin, a licensed counselor and psychotherapist in Northern California, specializes in helping adult children of alcoholics and others who struggle with anxiety, perfectionism, and self-criticism. She has a private psychotherapy practice in CA where she is available for online counseling. Sharon is also the author of The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism and write the blog Conquering Codependency for Psychology Today.