For many people the holidays are painful reminders that loved ones are no longer with us. It can be a very upsetting time. For most, the holidays are a distraction from our grief with the upbeat music, decorations, lights and good food.
However, after the Holiday festivities subside, feelings of loss, pain, regret, guilt as a result of grief do not. According to many psychologists January may be the most depressing month of the year. Even if you don’t “do” the Holidays, the upbeat mood associated with them has faded. For most the weather is cold and dreary and if you did engage in Holiday shopping and festivities, your credit card bills begin to arrive.
Even worse, certain events can trigger a new wave of grieving. One of the most painful is the anniversary of the day a loved one died.
On my Facebook Group the “Never Letting Go Grief Support Group” someone wrote how the first anniversary of the passing of her mother hit this person very hard emotionally. She said she cries, is angry and the pain feels like it is all new again. She wanted to visit her mother’s grave site but doesn’t know if she can bring herself to do this.
What she is experiencing is very normal and one must not punish or beat him or herself up for having these feelings. It is perfectly natural to mourn a loved one’s passing.
One of the things I try to teach people is when certain days (like the anniversary of the passing) arise and you are hit with a “wave” of grief, you must tell yourself “TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY.”
It seems that subconsciously we want to bring ourselves back in time to the day of the loved one’s death. It is a trigger where we spiral into the emotions of the passing. It recreates the sorrow and the pain associated with the death. Suffering isn’t helping you or your loved one in spirit and it is important to your recovery in the grief process to understand you are not required to do that. You must tell yourself, “Today is not that day.”
Don’t get me wrong. I grieve for those I love and the anniversary of their passings are always extremely difficult. And, it is okay to honor the loved one who passed. It is okay to pray for that person and to pray for yourself. If you don’t want to visit the grave then don’t. When a person physically dies he or she is not anchored to the body. That person is now an immortal living spirit.
I suggest that you do not try to ignore the anniversary of the death. Rather, embrace it by doing something uplifting. Whether it is walking through a park or garden or visiting a place that person enjoyed, eat something fun (chocolate is always good) and remember that the reason you grieve for this person is because you loved him or her. Grief is the price of love, and we grieve as deeply as we have loved.
Feeling sad is normal, but like everything in life, these feels will subside. The journey through grief is long, difficult and painful. It is a road no one wants to take, but one we are forced to travel at some point. Yet, the day the person died has passed. It will always be with us, yet TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY.
Mark Anthony the Psychic Lawyer™
Author of Never Letting Go: Heal Grief with Help from the Other Side
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