Anniversary Of A Death

As I mark another anniversary of my husband Allan’s death,  it always brings up so many emotions about our past and what our future may have been. People have asked me over the years if I have “gotten over” his death.  I am quick to share that I will never get over the loss, but I have reconciled myself to it.

That said, you probably wonder if I have been able to move forward with my life and how it’s even possible to do so? The simple answer is YES! I did find hope through my grief and I did move forward with my life without my dear husband.  Was it easy? Absolutely not! I took one day at a time which turned into weeks, months and now years.

Dealing With The Loss Of A Spouse

Anniversary Of A Death

Allan relaxing by the water

I learned to ask for help because it didn’t take too long for me to figure out I couldn’t possibly assume all the tasks my husband performed let alone my own. In my case, my husband and I owned a business together and therefore I not only had to assume his role in the company but I also assumed his responsibilities at home.

Some days I sat and cried over how I would get everything done and keep my life together?  But through the tears, the anger at him for leaving me, the challenges of keeping the business going I still had the support of  family and friends and I just kept going one day at a time and you can too.

Here a few tips I’d like to share with you that have helped me to move on with my life:

1. I don’t believe you will ever “get over” the loss, but you will learn to accept the loss which is when you move forward.

2. I realized I had to find a new “normal” for me and my life as a widow, and eventually I accepted that too.

3. I didn’t make any serious life decisions until about 18 months after his death.

4. I let go of my ego and asked for alot of help, everything from help with yard work to help with my business.

5. I didn’t clean out my husband’s closet and personal belongings until I was ready, in my case that was 6 months after his death. Don’t let anyone rush you into this until you are ready.

DOWNLOAD HERE some more Tips To Survive Anniversaries following a death

Honoring The Anniversary Of A Death

Each year on the anniversary of the death of my Mom, I do something meaningful to honor her death. This year, I wrote a story about her love of reading and I shared it with my brothers. For my husband’s death anniversary, I honor his memory by making a donation in his name to an organization he loved, and I do many other things that honor his memory as well.

Remembering is wonderful and I love to honor these death anniversaries in a loving way.  I also honor my Mom and husband through this website. Giving to others is a positive way of moving forward with life, and finding something meaningful to you is the key.

Honoring the memory of your loved ones isn’t just limited to their anniversary of death. On special days such as Mother’s day, Father’s day and birthdays I find ways of bringing fond memories of them into my day.

On Father’s day, I remind my step daughter just how wonderful a father she had, and we’ll laugh about silly memories. On Mother’s day I’ll remember special things my mother did, and will sometimes make a special meal my mother showed me how to make.  Each year that passes the anniversaries will get easier to handle and often become that of a great day of remembrance.

My Death Anniversary Reflections

Death Anniversary

Allan and I share a martini!

So as I find quiet moments to reflect on the love  and laughter that Allan and I shared, the life we made and memories that I will keep with me forever.  Yes, I’ve shed some tears and wondered what might have been…

I think I will also have a Martini (something Allan loved) and I will raise my glass, smile and be grateful that I had been loved and cherished by a really great guy.

  • Dorothy

    Well, today I have the task of posting a 5 year Anniversary of Remembrance for my dear friend Jeff, and also to send a sincere and brief message to his mom, who had to put their dog Shayna, to rest only a few months ago.

    I have been sitting here at the computer for hours this morning, but could not seem to “do words,” and “make sentences,” for Jeff’s online memorial tribute this year; possibly because, I just received word that a dear friend learned that her young adult son was killed early this morning or late last night. I am so numb right now.

    I could say that I stumbled upon this site, but I believe that I was lead to it. There is so much concern and compassion in the comments posted, from both, the grief expressed and the thoughtful and encouraging messages and condolences. Shelly Campbell, my heart breaks again for the loss of your dear husband and for your “(furry child) Toy Poodle.”

    The loss of my “furry child Cocker Spaniel Corgi, Maggie,” in 2007, still shatters my heart as much today as it did when she died. Most days and nights, I think it hurts even more. I know for sure that I do miss her more and more each day.

    My Heart, my Thoughts and my Prayers go out to each of you, as you begin or continue to heal.

  • Serika

    I love your site. My husband my killed instantly in a car accident the day before my birthday last year March and it is killing me inside. I need to write a poem for his 1 year ceremony but I’m struggling. I need your help. Please.
    Serika Ramsar

  • Joann Davis

    Hello Im a young widow. My husband of 6 years passed away leaving me to raise a very young child. On jan 13th is the anaiversary of his death… It still hurts as bad as it did when it first happened. I wanted to know will it ever get any better. Or at least have a day that i dont cry. My son looks just like him. I dont knowhow to talk to him about his father and why he isnt here for him.

  • http://Don'thave Beth

    I have read all of your comments and I just want to say to all of you THANK YOU! I was feeling very down and sad as I am approaching the Tenth Anniversary of my dearest husband’s death. No day passes by that I don’t think about him and us together. I was 44 when he died and my youngest daughter 10…and she has gone to college and the house is empty and I can’t help to think about those dreams we had together when this time will come with all our kids gone. Yes, I am very strong but my heart aches, I smile and laugh but at the end of the day when I am on my bed with the lights off I feel so much pain and loneliness that sometimes I get scare of my own pain. Again, thank you for sharing your emotions and experiences, I can see myself one day feeling less sad. Still I consider myself very lucky, I had the most amazing husband and I have two terrific daughters. Good luck to all of you!!

  • Adrienne

    Very insure if you’ll be able to see this as I’m not a member if this site….
    But it is the anniversary of my grandpa on this very day
    That I’m writing to you. I have definitely felt the sadness.
    However, my mother (the eldest of the 3 sisters) is an incredibly
    Strong woman… I was next to her when my grandpa reminded her of this on
    His death bed. She’s almost afraid to show too much emotion on sadness.
    Without realizing I came early from work yesterday and ‘caught’ her letting her sadness got…. Now heres my point….
    She is very strong and obviously her (and dad) raised me so I am strong too and looked after very well said lovely things….. But reading your thoughts helped me understand a deeper view into things.

    You sound very confident in your own healing process…. I’d like to thankyou deeply for share your experience… With out even knowing you’ve given a 19 year old an inside view to a close loose. I wish you the best with your business and your healing process!

    Thank you again you beautiful woman!!!!

  • Pam King Norlander

    The third year of the loss of my first husband has me in a state of confusion. I recently got married to a wonderful guy who loves me and will take care of me. But I am asking myself, Is is going to be the same?” It takes years for devotion to grow. I’m 63 and he’s approaching 66. Realistically how many years do we have? I have realized how much my late husband knew me and protected me. He let me do anything I wanted. As we get older we all get set in our ways and I want to do things my way. Dick wants to do things his way. We haven’t argued about it yet but I know there will come a time when we will. I still miss my late husband and it’s always more difficult in August when the anniversary of his death is approaching. Actually the actual day is easier than the weeks prior. I guess that it’s more difficult this year because I have had so many changes to deal with, a new career, a new marriage, living in a new town. I really can’t wait for the day to be over with. How will I feel next year and the year after? What happens on the five year anniversary? I hope someone can respond.


  • Shelly Campbell

    Today it has been 6 months since I came home from work and found my 44 year old husband with his head on the floor and his feet still tucked in the covers, I dropped everything and ran to turn him over, and that is the beginning of my life in hell. I barely remember much after that, I called 911 and ran out the front door and they found me on the front deck in fetal position crying, he had been dead all day, since that night I lost my job because I was grieving too much, 10 years of excellence at my job, then my baby Peanut (toy poodle) died in my arms 4 weeks after my husband died, now they are taking my car because it is in his name and the only way I can keep it is to pay it off 11K, I am losing my home and I blame myself so much for his death because he was snoring funny that morning and I woke him up, but he looked at me , I did not know he was dying. Then on our 10th wedding anniversary I overdosed on pills, I just could not take any more pain. Well I made it out of my coma, why I do not know but I still cry everyday. I am in so much pain, you all know the pain that is down to your soul, like huge piece of my heart and soul are missing and pain to the bone marrow!
    I am so sorry for everyone’s loss!!!!
    Good luck to everyone here on their journey to new chapter in their life, it is the hardest thing I have ever been thrrough…EVER!

  • Dee

    my mom died on jan. 23 2009 in my arms of pancreatic cancer. it wss horrible to see her decline so quick and even worse to be unable to make her better . so, it is approaching her anniversary and i am feeling anxious and having little flashbacks of her last few days of life. it just takes my breath way just thinking of it. my heart still hurts as if it was yesterday i miss her so very much . just thinking of her writting this makes me cry. is this normal? will i ever stop crying?

  • admin

    Dear Shannon,
    My heart breaks for your loss, I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child and I thank you for opening your heart and sharing here.
    I am a believer in being honest to your new employer, share in confidence that your daughter died and that you are still mourning her death and explain if they see you having a quiet and sad day to please be compassionate to your loss. I do not think you should grieve alone, and that means we need to ask for help and the support we need. We need to talk about our loved ones that have passed because it keeps their memory alive in us, its others who won’t speak the deceased name because they don’t want to hurt you.
    I know this is the hard, and I want to encourage you to find the inner strength you have and share your sorrow because that sorrow is part of who you are. With all this said, you have to be comfortable in sharing this part of your life and please do whatever you need for your own peace.
    You have my support and please feel free to email anytime.
    Are you involved in any grief support groups?
    with love, hope & inspiration,
    JoAnne Funch

  • Shannon Hoag

    Hi – tomorrow it will be 6 months since my daughter died and a little more than 4 months since my son in law took my grand daughters away from me. I lost all of my immediate family in one fell swoop. Now I am in a new job – how do I tell them that if they see me crying not to worry – how do I tell them my daughter died? They asked me last week how many children I had and I almost choked. What do you say? This is harder than I ever thought it would be.

  • admin

    I understand the overwhelm and by the time you read this I pray it has past. If it has not, you have to walk through that just like you did all the times these past five years. You are not alone with your feelings….my husband had been gone 4 years this past June and I also get days of overwhelm, sadness and especially lonliness as I am still alone. Does it pass? Yes, like you most days are pretty darn good, and I am happy and have found purpose and peace but with that said, I cut myself the slack I need when I’m not feeling so good. Remember, happiness is a choice and also remember happiness matters.
    Hang in there and please share your feelings anytime, it let’s other know they are not alone.
    with love, hope & inspiration,
    JoAnne Funch

  • Barb

    Sept. 15 marked the 5th anniversary of my husband’s death. Most days are fine, easier with each year. But my youngest went far off to college this fall and the nest is too empty. The reality of dreams lost is overwhelming tonight.

  • admin

    Dearest Lee,

    I am happy to know that you found some comfort in reading my blog post. I hope you will hang in here because I will try to provide the best tips and suggestions that I can. I also encourage other readers to comment because we can all comfort each other.
    I know it has been too soon for you to find any hope and I understand. Your loss is so raw, so new and there is such a big hole in your heart.
    Please be gentle with yourself, ask for support from your family and friends and know you are not alone. I encourage you to talk about your husband with anyone who will listen. Speak his name.
    as the weeks and months go on you will find acceptance in his death and then you will have hope. Does that mean your heart aches less? Absolutely not. Will you no longer shed a tear? Absolutely not.
    I also encourage you if you work to go back to it because it will give you purpose and a place to go, you need that right now.
    Lee, you are not along. Please contact me anytime.

    with love, hope & inspiration,
    JoAnne Funch

  • Lee

    Thank you. Your shared thoughts and tips are the most helpful thing I’ve found in days of searching the internet, the Bible, books, friends and my heart.

    Your pictures look so much like us! It has been only 41 days for me. I don’t know how I’m going to make it to 4 years as I dread each tomorrow without him.
    But thank you so much for this website and I hope your day was full of loving memories that hurt less than mine.


  • admin

    Dear Ann,

    Thanks for the note.
    Regarding your upcoming anniversary date and the children –
    first, I’m happy to hear you have caring friends that are offering to be with you, that’s great support. Yes, you will still shed tears but with friends.
    Regarding the children, my personal feeling is that you should contact them and NOT beat around the bush about the death. I think too often in our culture we won’t even repeat the words “death” – We celebrate people’s birthday’s all the time so why don’t we celebrate someone’s life who has left us? I’m sorry but I don’t get that.

    I contacted my step daughter and I said “I want to acknowledge the 4th anniversary of your Dad’s death, I miss him and know you must too. Just wanted you to know I am thinking about you today”

    So Ann, I hope you celebrate your husbands life on this anniversary of his death and remember how lucky you were to have been together for whatever time you were granted.

    with love, hope & inspiration,

    JoAnne Funch

  • Ann

    You are a year and two days ahead of me down this path. My anniversary is tomorrow, June 17th. That date will never be the same for me and I struggle with how to mark the day. I have good friends who have offered to take me to lunch and others who will be taking me out in the evening. One is a widow herself and she knows that no matter how “busy” they keep me it will still be a hard day and there will still be tears shed.

    My question is about his children. We stay in touch, one son more than the other. How do I approach them? Do I or do I let the day pass like every other? I can’t imagine that they don’t know what the day signifies as well as I do, but do I just call and say “how are you today?” Sharing a story about their father would be wonderfully healing. I love to talk about him! I’m just not sure how to approach it. Any suggestions?

  • Gabriella Holt

    JoAnne, you always express yourself so beautifully. Today is a new day and I know you will make the most of it and carry the memories of your gr8t guy! It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all….take care my dear friend.

  • http://msn Gail

    JoAnn, I am thinking about you today,I hope in time I will be as strong as you.I do know I was very blessed to have Steve in my life for 10 wonderful years.
    May God be with you

  • Pam King

    Jo Anne,
    Today is the hardest day of the year and June 15th will always be a hard day. Honoring him in the smallest way will bring comfort not closure. I’m thinking of you and i know the empty feeling on this day.
    Here’s a poem for you.

    Time is like droplets of rain.
    Some are fast and some are slow.
    Savor each drop as there are so few,
    and you will have a bucket of over flowing moments.

    My thoughts are with you today and everyday as we both face grief.


  • Diana Sebzda

    I’ll be thinking of you on this special day today. Great YouTube video! My brother just wrote an article on how YouTube is THE way to get your message across now, especially coupled with blogs/websites/social media. You are on it!

    I hope you take your own advice and take good care of yourself today, be gentle with yourself today, and enjoy that martini.

    XO Di

Heartache To Healing StepsJoin our community of support, inspiration and hope!

You'll also receive my free report "Steps From Heartache To Healing" by filling in the form below:

icon icon

icon icon

Click Image For Details