Our cremations services include helping bereaved families with grief resources. Bereaved family members will undertake the process of grieving and healing as they adjust to the new normal – and a different life – without their loved one. While great strides toward adjusting, adapting, and moving forward can be made, as the first anniversary of a loved one’s death approaches, all the feelings and emotions that were felt when they died may come back like an unexpected storm.
The first thing to understand is that this is normal, because this was a traumatic event and a devastating loss. However, there are some constructive ways to channel those emotions and feelings that can also bring peace and comfort.
One way to do this is to write a letter to your loved one. This can be very comforting, because you can pour out your heart about how you feel. Tell them how much you miss them. Tell them what you miss about them. Remind them of special memories of your time together. Tell them how much you love them, how different things are without them, and update them on what’s gone on in your life and in the family’s lives in the last year. Tell them about the challenges and struggles you all have faced in the past year, and tell them about the successes and failures in the journey moving forward since their day. Many people find this to a very cathartic exercise, and go on to start keeping a daily journal written to their loved one.
Another way to handle the first-year anniversary of a loved one’s death is to do something to honor them. Consider what they were passionate about in life and do something that supports that passion, whether it’s volunteering for a non-profit organization, planting a flower or vegetable garden, joining a book club, or attending the games of a local sports team. By doing these things, your loved one’s memory is kept alive.
Some people host a potluck dinner for family and close friends on the one-year anniversary of the death of their loved one. Everybody provides food and drinks to share, and as they all are gathered, they share memories, stories, laughter, and tears as they remember someone they all loved very much.
Creating a tradition to remember the anniversary of the death of a loved one can give more meaning and comfort to that date. It may be that family gets together for a picnic, for an evening of board games, for a day on the ski slopes, for an afternoon of fishing, or simply cooking the loved one’s favorite meal and watching their favorite movie.
Finally, be gentle with yourself on this day. The last 365 days have been difficult and life has changed forever. But you’ve made great strides in weathering, enduring, and overcoming the challenges that came with the death of your loved one. Challenges still lie ahead and bad days will cycle through your life again, but it’s important to take stock and see the progress and the growth that’s happened in the last year. Focus on that instead of all that still needs to be done.
Grief resources are part of our cremations services, so you can depend on our compassionate and experienced team at Hopler & Eschbach Funeral Home to help you. You can visit our funeral home at 483 Chenango St., Binghamton, NY 13901, or you can call us today at (607) 722-4023.