How to survive 1st anniversary of death

The 1st anniversary of my mom’s death is fast approaching, it’s in a month. I know I have to book it off work as I won’t be able to concentrate but I also don’t want to just stay home and do nothing because that is just as painful.

I have asked my fiancé to book the day off as well so we could go away somewhere but he thinks I need to heal instead of running away. I do agree but I am just struggling to think of something to do on that day that will help.

Just as a side note, I live in the UK, but my family is not here, so I can’t physically visit her grave. And by family I mean my sister, as my dad died 4 years ago, I was 37 when mom died, so a bit too early and suddenly to cope without them both.

Dear ivy83

Welcome to the Community. I apologise for the delay in replying to you.

The 1st anniversary is always very hard. Have you thought about doing any of the following on the day of the anniversary.

  • Plant a rose or other plant in your mums memory (did she have a favourite?)
  • Cook your mums favourite foods and drink her favourite drink
  • Write your mum a letter or poem
  • Do something you liked to do together
  • Go for a walk so you are not in the house all day
  • Have friends around for lunch
  • Look at photos and relive the happy memories. It is ok to have a cry too.

I would like to guide you to the following organisations that may be of help to you.

Cruse Bereavement

Sue Ryder [

Both these organisations offer counselling and support if needed.

Take care.


Thank you, there are some really good ideas on there. Thanks again

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Hi Ivy, nice to meet you. My mam left me 7 weeks ago and will be 80 next week. Someone suggested fireworks and another thought was burning chinese lanterns. Your sister coud do the same wherever she is and you could be on the phone at the same time so you are celebrating your mam together. I do think you should stay and do something if you can because you might regret it if you don’t, just on the day. You could always book a weekend away afterwards, even if it’s overnight somewhere with a nice meal.
I don’t know how you are coping with both your mam and dad gone, and at such a young age. I’m 51 and can’t get out of bed today.
I hope you find something good to do. Maybe getting a piece of jewelry with an inscription dedicated to your mam would be something to cherish and wear every day. You have time to decide and can look forward to making it special.
My mam will be 80 next week and even though I really want to do something for her I don’t know whether I can because my family don’t understand why I am still so upset. Take care x

Hi Christine, thank you for your lovely message.

I honestly don’t know how I cope either, good support from my fiancé (sadly mom didn’t see us get engaged but I’m sure they’re very happy for us in heaven) and I finally found my dream job a few months after she passed, so some good stuff happening on the background have kept me going. On my own birthday I just literally cried an ocean, couldn’t stop thinking how lonely was. Why me, why now?

And I don’t know how you manage to talk about it, only being without her for 7 weeks and her birthday coming up so soon. Why do you think your family doesn’t understand? They may have just buried their own grief deep inside?

But thank you for your suggestions, it makes sense to go away later. I found my parents wedding rings when I was cleaning mom’s flat, so I will remake them to fit, and we will use them when we get married. I think that’s a nice way to remember them both and keep close.

Hope you’ll find strength soon x

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Hi, I’m so happy that you’re finding a new path with your job and your lovely fiance. If your mam knew him before she passed she would know what was to come. I like the idea of Heaven. I imagine it to be a summers garden which is everlasting with loved ones and all the pets we have ever loved. It’s a lovely idea about the rings. You’re such a strong person. I don’t think my family can handle their own grief and that’s why I’m their focus. There’s a lot of guilt as well, that they won’t be close to dad and are angry because I can’t look after him (and he can be very difficult). I wasn’t prepared for any of this. Never had a talk with mam but she did with my other sisters and asked one of them to look out for me because of my panic attacks etc (she used to be my carer years ago). I think that’s why they insist on my taking pills, to fix me, even though I’ve tried and had years of therapy. They just will not listen or accept my situation and let me grieve. They are annoyed and angry at me. I just don’t know why this is happening now. It’s mams birthday next week and I cannot celebrate with them now. I cannot imagine seeing them at all in the future. I feel like I’m always having to defend myself and just don’t have the energy.
Enjoy celebrating, whatever you do. I’m so pleased you aren’t stuck and are able to enjoy your job. Your mam would be so proud of you x

I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. Families in situations like these sometimes get too much to handle but I guess we need to see the big picture and remember the good times (I have inheritance issues/tabu topics with my sister, or shall I say her husband so I’m trying to move on myself but it’s difficult). There needs to be some quiet/down time anyway to reflect, otherwise it’s really difficult.

Thanks again for your kind words, means a lot. All the best x

Hi, I’ve managed to pick myself up and reflect on the situation with the help of my therapist. Got stuck in a really dark place and I feel ok again. It’s such a rollercoaster. I just wasn’t expecting to deal with family issues as well as grief with mam gone. I think that time to reflect is good. Don’t want to abandon my whole life now and ready to adjust to whatever happens. Mam was dealing with a lot and I didn’t know about any of it. I miss her. Hoping that tomorrow is better.
Take care xxx

I am so glad you’re feeling better.

Have a good day xx

Woke up crying for mam. Looked at tribute photos of happy times. Miss her so much. Just want to know she is happy wherever she is and is with her family. She was so happy in all the pics. I wish I could tell her how precious she is to me.
Have a good day x

She is happy I am sure. That’s what will help move forward believing that. I don’t believe in God but I think there are definitely some sort of Angels that have been looking after me and preventing the worse from happening. You’ll see signs everywhere - feathers for example, I know for most people it sounds daft bit it helps me.

I miss my mom every day, I see them in my dreams, when it’s a happy dream, it comforts me. With my dad I usually have not so happy dreams as with him I have a lot of guilt and undead stuff. That’s disturbing.

I’m making most of my Sunday. Went for a run with my friend. Hope you’ll have a good one xx

Unsead stuff*

I would love to dream of mam. When she first passed I found white feathers on my doorstep and in the garden, and in their garden. My mobile would light up during the night next to me and it wasn’t charging or receiving texts or anything. I smalt the pungent candle from the chapel of rest and felt her presence in my bedroom next to me that I even turned round and asked ‘Mam, is that you?’ but then it all stopped. It was when I was really upset researching the lyrics for the songs for the tribute site. It took me back to childhood with Mam Cass ‘Dream a little dream of me’ and Barbara Streisand. I can’t even think of those songs now without crying. It’s as if I took for granted everything that was my life and I didn’t celebrate her for it. I didn’t tell her before she passed that she is so loved and precious. She was so loving and I didn’t show her. I just want her to know so I can be at peace with her. It’s such a torture that she didn’t know how loved she was.

I think the main thing is not to feel guilt and let it torture yourself but it all just takes time. Some feelings will always stay, we just need to try to honour only the good ones with our presence.

But it’s lovely you still had her like that beside you, I didn’t have that. I have always felt guilty for moving out very early as I was a very rebellious and unhappy teenager.

I’m in such a panic about her birthday on Wednesday. She is 80 and I’ve just ordered a card she will love but it’s going to be late. I’m so upset. All the days have rolled into each other and now I’m panicking because I didn’t realise it is so soon. I want to send her flowers but I’d have to send them to myself here because dad will be upset or very annoyed. I want to order a rose tree specially for mams but I don’t know if I can look after it because I can’t go in the garden. I wanted to do fireworks and chinese lanterns but can’t be with my family because of how they are being with me. I can’t do it on my own. Mam would say it doesn’t matter but it does. It matters now more than anything. I’ve always put a lot of thought into her gifts. It will feel like I don’t care. All I can do now is treat her like she is still here with me. I’m so upset.

I’m so sorry you’re upset. It’s okay to feel this way. But try to be kind to yourself.


Hi Christine, hope you had an okay day. Sorry I didn’t message earlier, had a very hectic day xx

Hi Ivy, That’s ok. I started off well but then got very upset about mam’s birthday because she’s not here and I couldn’t celebrate on my own. So I’ve really not done anything other than feel quite disconnected. My sister called round but I couldn’t let her in and my other sister up north rang and then texted but I can’t chat. I just want to hide from everyone. Finding it really hard, like there’s just a massive nothing where she used to be. But I did start looking at rose bushes for the patio to celebrate her life and birthday. Might get a rose for her every year until I run out of space. But then when I’m not able to look after it the garden will die. It seems like doing nothing at all is better than doing something.

It’s a lovely idea about the roses, what matters is that it helps you now. So I would definitely go for it xx. My mom’s birthday is in about a month, just weeks after her death anniversary, I am just not ready for that.

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Meant to suggest (if not already done so) check out David Austin for rose bushes for your mum as have so many different kinds eg ones for the garden, ones for plant pots etc all different prices, fragrances etc.

Suzanne x