Loss Anniversary

Marking the Passing of Time and the Ability to Move Forward

Anyone who has endured the death of a loved one passes through time a bit differently.  Moreover, we tend to universally use anniversaries as part of the grieving process.  Just like we mark the passage of time with birthdays and wedding anniversaries, so too do we mark the loss of a loved one. 

Some folks mark time at the year anniversary of a death, others semi-annually, even some by month.  Regardless, the ritual of using dates to mark time passing is as old as human history itself.  Society often takes this historical rituality for granted.  It is practically ingrained in us.  However, anniversary marking is far more than just an adhered to tradition.

The marking of dates plays the critical role in the average grieving process, but more than pointing to the loss, anniversaries also are a marker for moving forward with life.  Let me be clear, anyone who has deeply grieved a death understands that you never move on from the loss, but you can certainly move forward, and anniversaries are subtle reminders of the healing passage of time. 

Last year our family suffered two tragic and unexpected losses.  While drastically different from one another, both foundationally impacted us.  We recently gathered for one of these anniversary dates, coming ironically and painfully on Father’s Day.  The day marked a one-year death anniversary, and the first Father’s Day without two fathers.  No one can prepare for such consequential moments, but Father’s Day 2024 was a time to remember AND a time to quietly understand that our lives do move forward, though that does not mean moving on from the loss of two family members in one year. 

Take the time to appreciate the passing of time and understand the importance of anniversaries.  As painful as these time markers can be, there is solace in the fact that we can move forward, though we will never fully move on. 

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