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Looking for tips on dealing with death anniversaries of a parent.

External User
I already suffer from depression.  Today is the 2nd anniversary of the loss of my father to brain cancer.  
4 Responses
973741 tn?1342346373
Oh, I am so very sorry.  I lost my mom and it has been a couple of decades and I still hurt inside because of it.  just a sadness.  I get it.  And this is fairly new for you.  So, one thing my sister and I did definitely on the first anniversary (and on each holiday that year) was we did none of our normal traditions.  We went out to eat on Thanksgiving.  We went out of town on Christmas. And on that first anniversary of her death, we planned a weekend in a city a couple hours away. So we were doing something distracting on that day.  I don't know why that worked but it definitely helped us.
And then on the second anniversary and probably most after, I took it as my day. I was extra kind to myself.  I went and shopped (which I don't do for myself much) and got a little something for myself.  A purse one year, a home décor item, a pair of shoes.  Just one thing that I really liked.  May sound a little selfish but I do for everyone else and this was my treat in honor of my mom for me.  :>)  I also always took myself to lunch.  I don't do that so much anymore but mostly because I have kids and hardly have the time for that right now.  

On that anniversary day, I always have some quiet moments.  I have a little conversation in my head with my mom.  I feel like I'm talking to her which may sound crazy.  But it is very comforting to me.  

Now, it's been not much time since your dad passed. And brain cancer is awful to watch.  I did some grief counseling after my mom died.  It REALLY helped.  So, maybe that is something to consider.  hugs
Scorpion1030External User
I do the same thing, my dad has been gone for 15 years. when I was little he took me to breakfast and at that time eating out was a treat. Although I do take my son to eat out, I do this by myself just in memory of dad.
Avatar universal
You don't need any tips, let yourself grieve.  Don't suppress it and it will pass.  Suppress it and it won't.  Anniversary depression is a common thing even in folks who don't suffer from depression.  It's really a thing.  I've never had it personally, but I've read about it.  It will pass.  All the best.
Grief passes, I guess, but really.  Having gone through therapy after my loss, the specialist in grief said that our mind protects us. And this is a good thing.  The feelings after a death can be so intense that one can't function (me).   Overwhelming loss can be too much to handle at times.  Especially on days like an important anniversary.  It was their recommendation to make it a special day for myself.  In the early days of a traumatic loss, it's okay to take measures to make sure you get through the day.  NOW, the day has a melancholy tone but has switched to a day that I celebrate remembering my mom while taking total care of myself.

I'm thankful for the grief counseling!  And to the poster, get through as best you can!

My wacky in laws actually brought my deceased mother in law's who died 3 weeks before Christmas-- brought the Christmas sweater she always wore and laid it on a chair no one sat in.  :-0.  Weird to me. But I decided that everyone has to grieve in their own way.

Here's the thing I was meaning -- for healthy minds, grief passes, and for everyone how long it takes is very individual.  Suppressing it with drugs is what I meant, as many go on meds to suppress the pain.  Counseling is another thing altogether.  Can't hurt.  When grief lasts a long time and is still crippling long after the tragedy, that's a mental illness, even if a milder one that some others.  But anniversary grief is just a thing and in a different category, it's not the same as grieving all the time to the point you don't function very well and aren't enjoying anything.  Again, you guys have it, I don't, so I'm just noting things I've read about this.  As messed up mentally as I am, for some reason I was able to feel relief when my own family died as it relieved their suffering.  No idea why it didn't bother me more, you'd have thought it would.  Crazy world.  
External User
It is always tough for me. I try to do things that I would have done with the person when they were alive. Sometimes, that can yield a bit of joy even in times like that. Around their birthday, holidays, etc is really when I have a hard time. It has gotten slightly more tolerable over the last year, but I still have some days when I struggle to find answers to your question myself.
He Dub13, that's great insight.  I have done the same after I got through the first year after the death. I avoided all the 'usual' things the first year after the death but now several years later, I celebrate some occasions in a way that would have been something I'd have done with my loved one.  It makes me feel close to them somehow. So, I get it and thank you so much for sharing!  
External User
It never really goes away. It has been 15 years and a roller coaster ride of grief. I try to tell myself that's just the way it is. Obviously I can't do anything about it, but it hurts like it is day 1.
I would say, if it's been 15 years and it still hurts, that sounds more like depression set it.  Grief has to go away or dissipate to the point where it's no longer that intense or humans wouldn't be around anymore.  To survive you have to move on.  When you can't, it moves on from grief to something more than grief.  This also happens with relationship breakups -- many of us just never recover from them, but since everyone goes through these things, it would seem those who don't get over them have something going on beyond a bad experience.
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