Loss

Those dates again | Happy Anniversary to me!

Daffodils - Rainbeaubelle

Daffodils - Rainbeaubelle

Milestone dates. Don’t you just love them? When they are reminders of things to celebrate they’re great, but when they’re hanging around reminding you of something you’ve lost, not so great.

My husband Roger died in summer 2015 so I’m into the second year of anniversaries now. Far from being an old pro, but actually much more able to get through these dates without a sense of foreboding, sadness and worry like I had in year one.

March 12th was our wedding day and today would have been our sixth anniversary. Yesterday it was two years since we were told Roger’s cancer had spread and there was nothing that could be done. I definitely want to keep remembering the first date, but hopefully in time the second will fade.

It was the day I started grieving for my husband, a grief that began while we still had each other to lean on. When I’ve spoken to others who’ve been through the same experience they’ve said the same thing. When you’re faced with a terminal illness, the grief starts with the worst news.

The whole point of this post was to write that I was going to try not to dwell, and the darkness seems to be creeping in regardless. But this morning – moments after waking up and like the modern woman I am, checking my Facebook feed – I saw a blog post shared which I have read before but it’s never quite struck the same meaning as it did today.

daffodils close up Rainbeaubelle

It’s called Don’t Get on the Anniversary Train by Christina Rasmussen at Second Firsts. I remember reading it last year and feeling like it had nothing to do with how I felt at all. I read it now and kind of get it.

Anniversaries should be for honouring the good times, not fixating on what has gone. It’s impossible to live your life that way if you’re going to try to feel happy or fulfilled. Grief has to move on and part of that is learning – teaching yourself – how to deal with these dates without falling apart.

I’m well aware I’m writing this at 8am on my anniversary date so we’ll see how it goes and whether I can practice what I preach. But for today, as I live just round the corner from our wedding venue, I’m going to look after myself, get out for a walk, spend time with my family and look up to the sky.

I’ll look up and smile, wave and say look how far we’ve come. We’re still here, we miss you every single day but we are ok. The date of 12th March doesn’t always have to be a sad one after all, as Christina says in her anniversary train post, that would be honouring death, not honouring the good times.

Happy Anniversary to me!

x Julia

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Lisa ( mummascribbles)
    March 12, 2017 at 10:11 am

    Happy anniversary darling. Rog would be so so proud of you – is so proud of you. xxx

  • Reply
    Anne
    March 12, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Happy Anniversary, you’ve come a long way. Yes, don’t get on that train, go find the sky and celebrate the love you shared, Rog would be so proud of you xx

  • Reply
    Stacia
    March 12, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Lots of love to you ❀️

  • Reply
    Sarah Christie
    March 12, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Happy Anniversary Julia, you are amazing and have come such a long way. This year you have some lovely things to look forward too enjoy it lovely lady xx

  • Reply
    Jess Soothill
    March 12, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Happy anniversary to you both πŸ™‚ Love and hugs always. Jess xxx
    Jess Soothill recently posted…Cornwall, with friendsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Detrice
    March 13, 2017 at 3:42 am

    Julia, I love your view on life & I am in awe of your writing about grief, but also Roger’s memory. I hope the day went ok for you

  • Reply
    Mary Smith
    March 13, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    You certainly have come so far in a short space of time. I like this outlook but it will take me some time to wrap my head around it – for so long I feel like my grief is all I have to connect me to my baby. But like you say being sad honours death as oppose to the life (even if it is small). I can’t imagine being told my husband is going to die – I watched my cousin lose hers from illness and the awful turmoil she has been through. I lived my own terminal diagnosis with my unborn child and grieved for a baby that hadn’t even been born but was going to die – its not natural. But the man you love and have planned the rest of your lives with? I get grief but not that but I am thinking of you and hoping the day was kind to you… Happy Anniversary x
    Mary Smith recently posted…The Ordinary Moments 2017 #9 – “It’s your turn…”My Profile

  • Reply
    RachelSwirl
    March 13, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    As always massive hugs, you are strong sooo strong!
    RachelSwirl recently posted…#MySundayPhoto – Beach BabesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Widower After AFE
    March 14, 2017 at 6:14 am

    I’m 4 years into losing my wife to amniotic fluid embolism. So celebration of my son’s 4th birthday on Saturday was followed up on Sunday by the anniversary of her death. It’s hard but I think it’s important to recognise and face the difficulties of those ‘dates’ as best we can. Thank you for sharing what so many of us widowed feel but not everyone can or are willing to put out there for all to see.

    It would be easy to take this as being vulnerable but it’s clear that this makes you strong. As well as it hopefully being cathartic, I think it’s something that allows those around us who aren’t widowed to have some insight of what we’re going through and to maybe help us in better ways.

    Keep blogging!!

    : – )

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