Grief Anniversaries

Of course, a loss colors birthdays, the date of death, the final services, holidays – most recently Valentine’s Day – but it also colors remarkably ordinary days and occurrences.

Not long after Glen’s death I discovered one of those ‘normal occurrences’ centered on a fork. One morning at breakfast some years before his death I gave Glen a salad fork with his egg. He made an off-hand comment which became a tradition of ‘breakfast fork’ rather than ‘salad fork’. I took out a fork for my breakfast this particular morning, noticed it was a ‘breakfast fork’ and burst into tears.

There are good things and bad things about Facebook memories. They make me happy but can also trigger a grief anniversary. I thought perhaps I should delete the ones that make me sad but recognized that these moments are also full of joy! I had my husband for 45 years. First met him at 15, had other lives but returned to each other and married at 22. I’d have to delete a lot of my life if my goal was to remove grief anniversaries and avoid some extremely satisfying activities and items.

Do I never again watch a football game because I remember sharing the Super Bowl win of the Seahawks with Glen? Do I never step foot in a horse barn again because I think of Glen’s loving care of my horse when I had foot surgery and was non-weightbearing for 10 weeks? Do I forever avoid certain songs?

No! I adapt! I recognized recently I was avoiding wearing a pair of truly beautiful turquoise and silver earrings Glen gave me. I was looking for something else in my jewelry box one morning when the earrings came to my hand. I cried as I used silver polish to clean them up then rejoiced as several times that day someone commented on how lovely they were.

I will rejoice in the memories even as I cry. I will rejoice in knowing how much he loved me. I will rejoice in knowing he will be remembered by many and affected the lives of not just our family but of those God sent him to serve.

I will rejoice!

Author: bdeshaw

Mom, Grandma, Puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence

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