Long after the death and funeral of a loved one, we still have emotions and memories that keep the spirit and love of that person with us. Our memories are important, even when they make us sad, because it is the memories that we have that keeps that love in our hearts.
February 12th was my grandma, Charlotte Spear’s, birthday. Just because she has been gone for six years does not take away the importance of that day. To me, it is still her birthday. It is a day where my thoughts were on her and the many memories I have. This year, I thought of her picking me up from school in her big blue convertible, of the many trips to Chicago in the summers, and of the 50th Anniversary celebration on the rooftop at Wrigley Field.
We have many annual reminders of the loved ones we have lost: birthday’s, anniversaries, holidays, the anniversary of the death. Each of these days can be emotionally taxing, especially in the first year after we have lost someone. Our emotions are still raw and we are still incorporating the loss into our life. We have to learn to leave without that relationship (husband, wife, father, mother, sister, brother…) in our life. As time goes one, these days will still hold many emotions, both happy and sad, we just have to learn to live with them and choose to focus on the good. We can laugh and cry. It’s OK to do both. It’s healthy to do both.
It’s also good to share our memories and the meaning of the day with friends and family because talking about our memories can help us.
One of the ways in which we support our families is to follow up with helpful materials and support beyond the week of the funeral. We send a CareNotes pamphlet titled “Getting Through the Annual Reminders of Your Loss” in the week prior to the first anniversary of the death. This little booklet has some suggestions to help us death with our emotions as we journey through these emotion filled days.
If you would like a copy of the CareNotes booklet “Getting Through the Annual Reminders of Your Loss”, please contact me and I would be happy to send a copy to you.
Will Spear (email@example.com)