Grief and mourning isn’t a textbook process of getting from one point to another. It simply leads us to a more quiet place of inner peace and acceptance.
So many anniversaries bunched together like grapes on the vine. Every few days a reminder… a birthday, an anniversary, an important date in the life of those who have passed.
We’re past the firsts – first Christmas, first birthday – without our loved ones. For some we’re on seconds, thirds, or more now. Time is passing in it’s wise, unhurried way.
The days mark the memories – or at least I think they’re supposed to. I anticipate them, expect them to be difficult in advance. Mental notes to self include planning for time in solitude on each anniversary so I’ll have the emotional and mental space to mourn and honour those whom I have loved.
The anniversaries come and I’m ready to fully immerse myself in the grief. Sitting in silent solitude, I am surprised to realize that these days are unremarkably like any other. I have no thundering gush of heartwrenching grief. There is no emotional anvil looming over my head.
In these few introspective moments, I quietly become aware that all the anticipation of remembrance and overwhelming grief was unnecessary.
Clarity envelops me: I have no more or less love for those who have passed than on any other day. My heart holds them the same way as it does on any other day of the year.
It is the build-up to these important dates to which I cling, not to the dates themselves. I’m attached to the grief, as if grieving is my only way to hold on to what has gone before.
With mindfulness, I can finally release (real-ease) myself into the comfort of knowing that our loved ones are only as far away as our hearts allow. No matter what day it is.
THE CONVERSATION: Let's Talk About Seconds, Even Thirds: Getting Through The Griefversaries
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I laugh as I recall my similar efforts to plan ahead for the anniversaries, fully expecting to be doubled over in grief as I had been early on in the days, weeks and months since he died.
But in the last few years, my grief-quakes would come days after I anticipated they would and blind-sided me. Was it my exhaustion in preparing to do all the right things to be in the moment of the anniversary, or was it just nature’s way of saying, “Trust me…we’re doing this my way.”
It doesn’t matter really. What matters is that we eventually learn to be ‘in the moment”. Not the past and not the future. It is the big not knowing. 4 years later, I had the same realization as you. It was just another day and now I find that I can be truly thankful for the blessing he was in my life, and not in the devastated place I was, trying to figure out what the hell I was going to do without him.