Marking the first anniversary of a loved one's death
You did it. You have survived a whole year since your loved one passed – a year of holidays, birthdays, and special events without them. Now, the anniversary of their passing is approaching. You may be feeling a flood of different emotions, from lingering grief to an appreciation of the time you did get to spend with them. There is no right or wrong way to feel. If you think you are emotionally ready, doing something special, big or small, on the anniversary of their death can commemorate their life.
A lot can happen in a year, and there’s bound to be things you wish you could tell the person you’ve lost. Writing them a letter updating them on your life can feel like you are really communicating with them, even if it’s just for a moment. If you haven’t done anything at all in the year without them, that is more than okay, too. Jot down what you think and feel in a note to them. You can either hold on to what you write, send it off to a friend or family member, or even tear it up – whatever feels right.
To reflect on the moments that you did get to share with the person you have lost, look through old photos and videos of them, either on your own or with people who were also close to them. Looking back on the good times might make you miss them even more, but it is important to keep their memory alive.
Preparing their favorite meal or eating at their favorite restaurant is another great reason to get together with friends and family to celebrate your loved one’s life. Cooking alongside friends and family can strengthen your bond, and gathering at a restaurant is a special treat after a hard year.
While this day is about the person who has passed, taking care of yourself should be a priority as well. Treating yourself to a spa day, a cupcake, a day off work, or anything you wouldn’t normally do can help brighten your day on what is otherwise a rather difficult one. Whoever you are missing would want you to have the most enjoyable day possible, so doing something nice for yourself is a great way to celebrate both the life of that person, as well as your endurance throughout the past year.
You knew your loved one the best, so you can make these ideas unique to you, or come up with something completely different to memorialize them. What matters is that you have been strong for the past year, so doing something special on the anniversary