Remembering Our Loved Ones: What Anniversaries Are Appropriate to Acknowledge?
I have often wondered if it was appropriate to send emails to friends on the anniversary of the death of a loved one. It would be to remind them that I was thinking about them and their loved one that day. I have hesitated and struggled with it each time, worrying if I was stirring up sad emotions. I certainly didn't want to do that.
I wondered if most people prefer to forget the date of the passing of their loved ones and do not want to be reminded of that pain. Or did they feel that others had forgotten them and suffer alone in their grief that day?
My mother passed away on Mother's Day years ago. With so many people at her funeral saying how much they loved her, I was so surprised that on the anniversary of her funeral no one acknowledged it. It was such a hard day for me, and I wondered if maybe I was unique. Maybe most people just don't want to be bothered or it is too hard for them.
I finally decided to start asking people if a quick email on an anniversary of an important death would be something they'd appreciated or not. I also asked them how they felt about acknowledging the passing anniversaries of their own friends' loved ones.
The response was always yes; they did appreciate an acknowledgement, as the date of a loved one's passing is never forgotten. But, as far as acknowledging the passing dates of others... ohhh, it was hard to remember all those... and uncomfortable because they just didn't know what to say.
I always say in a joking way, "You know, they have a amazing new invention now-it's called a CALENDAR, and you can even keep track of dates on it! Probably whatever you appreciate people saying to you would be the same things others would appreciate-don't you think?"
The answer is always, "Well, yeahhh, I know I should, but I just don't like thinking about sad days and the pain of loss and death."
"I don't know anyone who does."
You can learn more about Jacqueline and find information about her book at ElderRage.com.