How Do You Acknowledge the Date of Passing?
For those of us who have lost someone, as the date of death approaches each year, it is triggering. Recently, I read an Instagram post from Amanda Kloots on the second anniversary of her husband’s passing. She shares a story that changes her perspective on the day. It’s a very interesting perspective. Amanda Kloots’s reframing of that day as her husband’s “new birth” day instead of his day of death has allowed her to bring a positive light to an otherwise sad day. I think I will try that this year.
The Anniversary of A Loss
The anniversary of a loss conjures up memories of that day every year. It doesn’t matter if it is the first year or the 8th, like the upcoming anniversary of my loss. Most people I know, whether friends or acquaintances, even some family members, don’t recall the date like they would a birthday or an anniversary. There are no Facebook reminders of the significance of that day.
I choose not to post anything online. It’s not that I wouldn’t appreciate the acknowledgment from my FB friends. I know some in my situation post on their date of loss. And that works for them. Perhaps hearing words of comfort gets them through the day. It is a very individual and personal choice
How I Feel About the Day
There has never been a way to avoid that day. Ironically, he and my daughter were both born on the 9th, albeit in different months. And, he passed on the 9th so 9 is a very strong number for our family. When the day arrives, I find myself going through every minute of that day wondering what I could have done differently. Each detail of that day comes flooding back. It feels like it happened yesterday. I remember exactly how I felt that day both physically and emotionally.
It isn’t done in a “let’s torture myself” type of way. It’s more complicated than that. Rationally, I know that there is not a thing we could have changed about that day. And any should of, would of, could of moments are irrelevant because the outcome is still the same.
Time To Reframe the Day
Personally, I have always dreaded the month, week, and day leading up to the 9th because I know it’s coming. I tend to put way too much negative energy into that day. But reading Amanda Kloot’s post has made me rethink how I may approach this upcoming anniversary of his passing.
Instead of lamenting the day, perhaps it is time to reframe the day as his “new birth” day. Amanda Kloot’s post, which you can read in the link above, recounts a friend’s story who had a dream where Amanda’s husband comes back on his day of passing. She shares “Last year on this day my girlfriend told me about beautiful dream she had. We were all at a party and Nick was there looking happy and radiant. When she asked him why he was there he said, “What do you mean? Today is my birthday. It’s the one day I get to come back and celebrate with everyone I love.”
I cannot say that my husband will appear on the 9th to me or my daughters on that day. But what I can say is that he has made his presence known since his passing. Anyone who has experienced a visit from someone can relate.
It is often a string of subtle reminders that gives me the sense he is visiting. This particular visit involves a specific song, the name of a random acquaintance known to both of us coming up that day that we have not spoken to in over a decade, and the beep of a smoke alarm (not a battery situation). The fact that it was Father’s Day weekend and my daughter was visiting from out of state provided a strong incentive for him to visit.
Time Does Fly By
It is so unimaginable to think that we are approaching eight years since his passing. When once time painstakingly crept by, now it just seems like it has flown by. So much has changed since that fateful day. Deep down inside, I believe he is aware of how far we have all come. And, he is proud of us for moving forward and living our lives.
So, on August 9th, we will honor him and like, Amanda Kloots so eloquently stated, celebrate with him on that day.