Is it just me or is it normal to feel this way?

I lost my Mum on 1st March 16 years ago when I was 24. Although I cope with it a lot better as time has gone on, I can’t seem to get over the dread of February. It brings back very vivid memories of her last month, of constantly being told by the doctor that she didn’t have long left, seeing her lying in bed and not being able to speak, and finally watching her take her last breath. Although she died 1st March, it’s February that I really hate and every year, I can’t wait for it to be over. I get emotional at the smallest, silliest things and feel down all month, which isn’t like me at all.

Is it normal to feel more anxiety and upset in the build up to the anniversary rather than the anniversary itself?

My mum only died 6 months ago last August I’m going to dread that month. Even now it gives me anxiety. It was such a hot day she died on. I remember the fan on in the hospital. Not sure I’ll ever enjoy a hot day again. Like you vivid memories of being told not long left. Her wide sad frightened eyes. Unable to talk properly. Then her last breaths. Just unimaginable images that we now carry with us. I’m not surprised it gives us anxiety. And I think I will feel like that about the month of August forever

Sorry you lost your mum so young too.

Yes Diane, it’s not at all uncommon. It’s not just you, believe me. 16 years or 60 years makes very little difference to memories that can strike like a blow at any time. We need to go through them with as much acceptance as we can manage. It does pass but it also hurts.
Memories can be helpful or upsetting. But whatever they do there is only one way to let them pass. Acceptance! It’s not always easy and often very difficult, but it’s all part of the healing process.
You may be anticipating too much when that time of year comes round. You could be building up to a climax and becoming anxious long before the date you dread. This is fertile soil for anxiety to flourish.
I don’t know your circumstances, but if you can ‘head off’ the fear at this time by perhaps going away or just occupying your mind with a distraction. I am not minimizing your pain. Grief is grief whenever it comes and it hurts.
Take care. It’s good to have you here. John.

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Im coming up to the first anniversary of my Dads sudden death. I’m terrified as Christmas hit me like a ton of bricks and I’m dreading the same thing happening again. You are not alone

@jonathan123 thanks for your response. I take great comfort in knowing that it’s normal. I like your suggestion of going away somewhere to try and make happier memories at this time of year. I’ve read a few posts today and I’m feeling grateful for the time I got to spend with her before she died. I had 6 months warning, whereas so many others on here lost their loved ones so suddenly. I can’t imagine what that must be like.
Thanks again for making me feel more positive!

Although dads only been gone 13 weeks I am already dreading November! He died a few days after my Birthday. Am not sure am ever going to enjoy another birthday after spending my 33rd sitting at his bedside praying he would get better. He didn’t get better and now it’s just so empty and quiet! I think it’s completely normal what you are feeling x

It’s OK HannahB. You are feeling so much pain because it’s so early for you to feel otherwise. 13 weeks is no time at all. Pain lingers and we often feel it will never end. After a time you may find it does tend to fade just a little. You will never forget, that’s obvious, but with acceptance we can learn to live with it. All of us have been given the courage to face such adversity. No one has less or more than anyone else. It’s how we use it that counts. You are right, it is normal, but it’s often that very normality that hurts so much. Grief is not unlike happiness. They are both sides of the same coin. Both emotions being expressed. Your coin has fallen wrong side up at the moment. Try and see grief as a normal process that Nature has given us to release pain and tension through our emotions. No ‘bottling up’ or trying too hard to ‘come out of it’, whatever that means.
Take care and stay with us. We all listen and understand. John.

DianeH, My Dad passed away close to twenty years ago. Mum four months ago.
Both Mum and I on Dad’s 15 anniversary felt very stressed and anxious leading up to it. I think it is normal. Some dates are more important than others.
Take care.

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@HannahB That’s really tough losing him so close to your birthday! I thought I would hate Christmas after Mum was gone, but she loved Christmas so I knew I had to make it special each year in memory of her, so I have 2 Christmas trees, one is dedicated to her and it’s full of hearts, angels and love. Your Dad wouldn’t want you to dread your Birthday either, as you being born would have brought him so much joy, so maybe think of something special you could do each year that you know your Dad would have enjoyed. Take care.