August 3, 2021

How To Cope With the Anniversary of a Loved One’s Death

No matter how many years pass after the death of your loved one, the date becomes a significant part in our hearts and minds. On the day of the anniversary, it’s common to feel grief and other emotions begin to pile up. Here are a few things you can do to help you get through those emotions this year. 

What is an Anniversary Grief Response?

Anniversary grief response will occur when you re-experience the feelings you felt on the day your loved ones passed away. This is quite a common feeling on one year anniversaries, but you may still experience it on anniversaries for years to come. Learning how to deal with this grief in future will allow you to return to your “normal” life when death anniversaries are near. 

Death anniversaries can cause elevated feelings of anxiety, fatigue, loneliness, depression and much more. There are things you can do in order to help you deal with these emotions. 

Coping With Anniversary Grief

If you’re worried that you won’t be able to forget about your loved one when their death anniversary approaches, you may already be feeling some of the emotions listed above. Elevated feelings can begin within the weeks leading up to those anniversaries. 

Accept the Grief

Oftentimes, people mistake grief as a single emotion, but grief is a very powerful emotion and affects many parts of the body. Grief can affect us emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Grief often is persistent and even if our loved ones have been gone for years, we can still become affected by grief. 

Rather than trying to deny grief, you should accept it as a normal emotion within your life. Grief shouldn’t be considered an enemy, but rather a reminder that your loved one is still with you to this day. 

“Death ends a life, but it doesn’t end a relationship” – Robert Woodruff Anderson

Have Memory Time 

Instead of worrying about trying to forget the departure of your loved one, you should embrace those memories and anticipate the anniversary each year. Don’t let worry and fear dictate your feelings

Spending memory time with someone who was close to you and the deceased can help you better cope with the anniversary. If you wish to be alone with your feelings rather than with a friend or family member, so be it. Every person grieves and remembers differently so It’s important to choose what’s best for you. 

Regardless of how you spend memory time, mourners often find that scheduling the time into your day allows them to better confront the fear of being surprised by the death anniversary. 

Distract Yourself 

Along with memory time, you should consider making plans to keep yourself preoccupied before or during the death anniversary. Every person deals with grief differently, but grief oftentimes will hit us the hardest when we’re sitting alone with our thoughts. If you have a fear of this happening, schedule an activity to help keep your mind busy. It can be something that you and your loved one enjoyed doing together, or it can be something you haven’t done before. Whatever it is, an activity will help you to not be left alone with elevated feelings of grief, sadness, or depression. 

For some, getting out of the house and going for a walk is all they need. A breath of fresh air can do wonderful things for a foggy mind. 

Wyuka Cemeteries 

For over 140 years, Wyuka Cemetery has played an integral part in the lives of Nebraskans. When a loved one passes on, a service of dignity and simplicity in a setting of great natural beauty is a wonderful way to say goodbye, and many see Wyuka as a peaceful and comforting place to visit.

Wyuka is a Lakota Indian word meaning “to rest.” Many visitors tell us that upon entering the grounds, a “feeling of calm” comes over them.

Here at Wyuka, it is an honor to care and a privilege to serve. We’re Wyuka Cemetery, a place of rest. Give us a call today at (402) 474-3600


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