Anniversaries, once the best of times, become the worst of times and the New Year is one of the worst because it signals another year gone by without your loved one.
In is particularly harrowing in the case of our family: my darling Christine went into intensive care on Christmas day and didn’t come out alive. She passed away on January 18. So we have two awful anniversaries within three weeks, followed shortly afterward by her birthday in February.
Last New Year’s Eve, 2016, the first since her passing, brought the blackest day I have known in my 84 years. I didn’t want to go on and had given up on life when, almost like a message from her, I realised that Christine would be cross at my attitude, my surrender. So I saw sense and that’s the moment I reached acceptance, knowing that she was gone forever and was no longer suffering.
This state of acceptance is the key. Until reaching this point I believe most of us are waiting for our loved one to return; we are lost in our grief, unable to function normally. Then, with acceptance, we know that death has won this battle, as it will with all of us. Until then life must go on as best as we can make it. But the anniversaries serve as constant reminders of our mortality. I still hate New Year, though.