On the morning of October 24th I stepped out of my house and as soon as the smell of fall hit me I thought, holy crap, is it the day? Litsa and I have written many blog posts about dealing with grief on special days. When I looked at the date and realized it was actually the day after, I was shocked. We helped you reframe Valentines Day, we offered you 8 New Year’s resolutions for grievers, we suggested a fun family activity for remembering loved ones on Easter, we came up with a list of ways to remember your loved one during the holiday season, we challenged you to search for joy on Mother’s Day, and Litsa laid out a rock star tutorial on Father’s Day sulking. Visit or spend time in a place where you feel close to your loved one. Take the trip you had been planning or dreaming about. Read old notes, letters, or e-mails from your loved one. The anniversary of my mother’s death was this past week, October 23rd to be exact. Build a memorial with portraits, personal items, and objects that remind you of your loved one.
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Clearly we advocate for finding constructive ways to acknowledge and cope with tough days; although I will totally support you in ignoring them if you so choose. Some will want to fully feel the sadness and emotion of the day (what I like to call ‘wallowing with a purpose’), some will want to stay positive, some will want to do a quick and casual acknowledgement, and some will want to spend the entire day focused on the deceased.
But we highly recommend on days like the anniversary of a death that you first consider finding ways to honor and remember. Whatever you do we recommend you think ahead, anticipate the hard parts, and make a plan. Reach out to someone else grieving the loss via letter, card, phone call, or e-mail. Host a dinner party and invite those who knew your loved ones best. Cook your loved ones favorite dish, use one of their recipies to prepare a meal, or host a pot luck and ask people to bring a dish your loved one liked.