Damned anniversaries!

Anniversaries, once the best of time become the worst of times, when remorse replaces joy and memory becomes a mental burden. They arrive at regular intervals, these days of torment: her birthday, your wedding day (July 21 was to be our 44th), New Year, Christmas (Christine went into intensive care on Christmas Day 2014 and the following year December 25 brought another tragedy).
Even worse are those anniversaries you’d rather not have known or think about: the date of her death soon followed by the date of her funeral. In our case Christine’s birthday comes a few days after the latter, not long into the New Year. Fate is a cruel foe…
Such times are purgatory for the lonely, I have discovered. There are only so many distractions available for someone living alone, who doesn’t want to inflict his grief on others, particularly his adult offspring who are also suffering from the tragic loss.
Time is a great healer, we’re told, but I disagree. Time is a conductor and merely punches your ticket on the long journey to acceptance, when you finally acknowledge that your loved one has gone forever, the realisation that your subconscious denial of her death is pointless. She won’t be coming home again…
Before this acceptance is the second stage of bereavement: after the debilitating grief of the death comes the deep, all-encompassing stage of mourning that seems unending, constantly refuelled by those damned anniversaries.
In an obtuse way, I suppose I’m fortunate. As an author, the book I created as a memorial to Christine proved to be the ultimate distraction, a cathartic therapy I could never have imagined when I started it three months after her death in January 2015. In the course of research while compiling it I discovered some of the strategic moves in the battle of bereavement, not least the need for a new lifestyle, one that involves new routines, new hobbies, a new outlook. Putting this into practice took time (that word again) and no little imagination but it appears to have achieved the desired effect. I have reached acceptance.
Life without her was at first unthinkable, impossible to imagine. It has become a little easier to contemplate now. But it’s not helped by those anniversaries… Maybe we should start a club? The Anniversary Club. Now there’s an idea…

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Hi Bazzo and welcome to the forum. I lost my wife on 1st May 2016 so havent had any anniversary’s yet.I can imagine the pain of those Anniversary’s that you have been going through. It never really gets any less painful does it though they do say it gets easier as time goes by.Its 9 years since we lost my mother so i know all about Anniversary’s there each time its her Birthday.Mothers day,Anniversary of death and Xmas i always buy some flowers and ill do the same for my wife.Well done on creating a book about Christine she will be looking down and smiling.I know how you felt when you say at first life without her was unbearable i was the same but over the last 9 almost 10 weeks ive tried to keep myself busy and built up a new routine of doing things myself like Shopping etc.I’m keeping myself positive as i have made enquiries about a group called Better In Kirklees they sent me some info yesterday to look through and will ring me to get my views on the info and talk things through. Basically they aim to get people out in the community with other like minded people and help to raise people’s confidence.I sure need something like that.

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