Thursday, September 29, 2016

First year of grief - don't think year two will be much better!

Many people refer to the date of their loved one’s death as an anniversary. I can’t bring myself to do it. It actually makes me cringe every time I try to say it or explain what September 26th means to me. The word “anniversary” has an intended association with joy, celebration, and happiness, so why would I want to acknowledge the loss of Tom with this word?
None of us ever imagined having to say good-bye so soon, so suddenly, so tragically to the ones we love, which leads me to believe that none of us are feeling particularly celebratory as the date draws near. We all have that one day. A day filled with dread and loaded with dismal realizations; our own person D-Day. No, I can’t bring myself to call it an anniversary so “death-versary” it is. Sounds a bit morbid, I know. But how else can I honestly begin to approach this day?
Sept. 26 marks the one year death-versary of Tom. It is unimaginable that he has been gone that long. I have alternated so many times over the last year between feeling like he was just here a minute ago and feeling like he has already been gone for four lifetimes that I think I have given myself whiplash. Life has continued to go on while I feel frozen in place. Days have come and gone, and yet I feel like nothing has changed. My crowning accomplishment is that I woke up every day. I got out of bed. Seriously? That is my accomplishment!
Whether I like it or not, the first year has passed. One whole year without the person who gave my life meaning and filled my heart with unimaginable amount of love. So how am I supposed to acknowledge this day? How are any of us, the unwilling members of “Club Grief,” supposed to recognize this day for what it stands for? For most of us this day signifies one of the absolute worst days of our entire lives, filled with loss and devastation, questions that can never truly be answered. So how should this day be spent? I wish I had the answer, any answer, but I think every single one of us must slowly live our way into our own answers.
Throughout grief we are forced to constantly make decisions like: what to do with their belongings, how to celebrate the holidays, what traditions to continue on with. The death-versary is just another one of those decisions and one I am currently faced with.
Should I ignore the day and just go to work like normal and hope it will be distracting? Should I take the day off and spend it hiding under the covers? Should I go spend the day with family and rely on each other for support? Should we have some kind of organized service? Should this day be no different than any other day?
I think it comes down to this; whatever ends up being the final decision it will never be enough or give me any sense of comfort. He is still gone and the pain will still be there.