Coping with the Anniversary of a Loved One’s Death

As the day that marks the loss of a loved one approaches, a sense of dread wells up in us. There is no avoiding it, but there are ways to alleviate the pain and sadness that comes with this particular day.   

Here at Memorial Funeral Homes, we have found some ways to help us and the ones we care about get through this difficult day:  

“One of the ways I take back my life from my husband’s death is to own it, to prepare for it every single time,” says Kim Shute, our former Community Relations Manager. “If I don’t the day can quickly turn into an abyss like no other.”  

Kim has to brace for the loss of her husband on the anniversary of his death, but it is also marks their wedding anniversary.   

For many, the days and weeks leading up to the day can be full of dread and anxiety. One way to try and reformat the way we look at the anniversary of a loved one’s death is to plan on doing something on the day to mark the passing of time.  

Have a Party

This might not be for everyone, but it is one way to gather those that are left behind to share their most loved memories of the person who is no longer with us. “The first year I, with the help of another family, threw a dinner for 55 people with a picture slideshow and live music,” says Kim.  “With the event being a year later, taking part was easier and more enjoyable to reminisce.”   

Kim was also sure to have a plan for the next day as well. She did garden work with a dear friend. She didn’t want the stark contrast of loneliness after a night of being surrounded by loved ones.   

Take Time to Reminisce

For those who think that a party will be overwhelming, taking the day to journal, or spend some time outdoors — anything outside the normal routine – can be a good idea. If you work, take the day off. Write about your memories together or write a letter to your loved one directly.   

If you don’t feel like writing, then maybe do something that they enjoyed doing, or listen to their favorite music. Or don’t do anything at all. You deserve to do exactly what you want to do on that day.   

Kim says, “I have written about him and to him. I have created art inspired by him. I have planted flowers for him. I have made his favorite foods and raised a glass to him both with friends and by myself.”  

Volunteer & Donate in Their Honor

Volunteering your time at a local food pantry or shelter can be very rewarding. Doing something good for the community in your loved one’s honor can help in the healing process. You are keeping their memory alive and doing good for others. Maybe donating to a cause that your loved one cared about is a better option for you. Either way, you are doing good for others as well as yourself.   

“Every one one of these actions has helped me heal and take my life back from his premature departure,” says Kim.  

For Aquidneck Island residents, the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center is a great place to volunteer and make donations to. They help combat hunger, as well as provide health and educational opportunities.

Another option is the Women’s Resource Center, also located in Newport. This organization helps women who have been victims of domestic violence. They are always looking for donors to help them with their cause.

For recommendations of books on grief, please read our article here.

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