View Full Version : OT: How to spend the day (sad)~
03-31-2007, 02:24 PM
Well, since I spend so much time here these days I thought I would share a little personal info to you guys ( Me sharing personal info on the Web.. :passedout: never thought I would see the day )
Anyway~ The 14 will mark the 1year anniversary of my dad's death. This past year has been the most difficult year of my life. We had a total of 5 deaths last year between friends and family. Needless to say I was so glad to see '07. My questions is this: for those of you who have lost someone DEAR to you how did you spend the anniversary of thier death~ I am looking for a few ideas here b/c I know we need something to do that will keep us occupied. Even though we will all be thinking the same thing that Dad is gone~. I just need some suggestions on POSITIVE things to do to help our family through this very difficult day~ or just feedback on what you and your family did to get through.
Thanks to all of you who answer
03-31-2007, 02:38 PM
awww, I feel for you :shrug: my dad passed 5 years ago and it's still tough on those anniversaries. the first one is probably the worst but it does get better. just try to keep busy or even do something that you and him liked to do, sort of an honerary thing. ((((((hugs)))))))
Jan in CA
03-31-2007, 02:51 PM
It's never easy, but the first few years are the most difficult. My mom died on Mother's Day in 1973 when I was 20 yrs old. At first I went to the cemetery on Mother's Day, but now I just remember her fondly and wonder what she'd be like as a grandmother. Hang in there. :hug: :hug:
03-31-2007, 03:31 PM
It's just hard thinking about THAT daycoming and it's getter closer all the time... like I said I want to find SOMETHING positive that we can do together as a family b/c I know everyones nerves (and tempers) will be short and shot :oops:
I knowit will be ok.. it is SLOWLY getting easier.. but I just want to think of something to help us get through it~
03-31-2007, 03:56 PM
Just wanted to give you a cyberhug. :hug: I don't have an answer for you. My 16-year-old brother died when I was 13. He died on June 15, which that year was not only Father's Day but my parents' wedding anniversary as well. It's always been a hard day for us, and I can't remember doing anything special to get through it, although my mother says I blocked out about 2 years of my life back then. These days, we just try to go on as normal. My parents go out on a different day to celebrate their wedding anniversary. If we need to talk about my brother, we talk about the good stuff.
I hope you find what you need to get through the tough times. It really does get easier with time. I'm sure a lot of people have said that, but it is true. :hug:
03-31-2007, 03:59 PM
How about setting some time aside to go through photo albums and remember the good times. Everyone share a special story about your Dad and hopefully you'll be laughing through the tears.
My Mom's been gone 5 years now (she died 1 week before Xmas, 2001) and that first Christmas was :waah: but remembering and keeping up her traditions really helps.
:hug: :hug: :hug:
nadja la claire
03-31-2007, 04:40 PM
I remember when my dad died in '94, I was devistaded. It felt like I was missing a limb. A few days after the funeral I called my mom and the answering machine picked up and there was my dad's voice. I know that it sounds weird but hearing his 2 pack-a-day voice over the phone was oddly comforting, so until that answering machine finally died when ever I needed to I'd call my mom's house when she wasn't home just to hear my dad's voice. On the 1st anniversary of his death I think I called my mom's house about 5 times.
Maybe you could make his favorite dinner on the 14th, or if you have a favorite photo of him you could just keep it where you can see it.
I'll keep you in my thoughts. :hug: :grphug: You'll get through it.
03-31-2007, 06:16 PM
My father was born on Valentine's Day, anniversary was Labor Day, and he died on X-mas.
So when those holidays come around, I do something in His name. I give a surprise Valentine to someone who might not have one... On Labor Day, I go out of my way to thank the workers that are working that day.. and on X-mas- I make a contribution to one of His favorite charities.
When my mother died.. I used those dates, birth, anniversary, and death, to celebrate others, by doing something she would have loved to do. Eat a certain food, give someone a special little gift, and contribute to Her favorite charity.
Hope this helps
Big Bear Hug your way!
03-31-2007, 06:22 PM
Maybe you could have a family day out - go for a walk together and have a picnic, or do something together that your Dad enjoyed doing.
03-31-2007, 07:17 PM
thanks guys for you kind words and help~!!
I am going to give ALL of your ideas some thought~!
03-31-2007, 08:48 PM
My grandfather died December 23, 2000. My mother, aunts, grandmother, uncle, and adult cousins (who live all over the place) all light a candle at the same time on that day and blow it out at the same time at night.
Everyone also tries to use words or phrases or mannerisms that he always used (most of them are funny and make us all laugh). As long as there's laughter, you'll be able to get through the tears.
03-31-2007, 08:54 PM
My mom died when I was 15 and for the first few years I would go to the place we spread her ashes and just think and mourn...then dad died when I was 20 and I realized that I was not going to acknowledge the days they left, instead I celebrate their birthdays. I know I would not want my children mourning the day every year...instead I would want them to celebrate their life and remember that life is too short. I want to create positive energy so instead when the day passes that they died I try to focus on doing something positive that day and not focusing so much on the past.
Its kind of hard to explain but really what it all boils down to is that I just won't let those dates become more meaningful than any other day of the year, most especially their birthdays.
03-31-2007, 09:26 PM
Each member of the family could tie a love note to the streamer of a balloon, and then you could all release them at his gravesite....just a thought.
Financial Services (http://www.toyota-wiki.com/wiki/Toyota_Financial_Services)
03-31-2007, 09:49 PM
Loss is hard to deal with. It hurts, plain and simple. My dad died when I was 10.
You will always feel the loss but the pain does ease over time.
03-31-2007, 10:05 PM
I know this isn't the answer you're looking for, but if you need time alone, there's no shame in that - this year or any year.
My mother died just before I turned 17 (I'm 20 now) and I spend that day alone as much as I can. I just don't feel like being with people. I sort of have two days, though. There's September 4th, when she actually died, and October 4th, when they found her. October 4th is harder for me.
03-31-2007, 10:23 PM
I think that all of the ideas posted so far are wonderful. I'm sure you'll adapt one or some of them with your family.
This April will be the 6th anniversary of my dad's passing. My children were 9 and 7 when he died. I honestly do not remember doing anything as a family. The kids knew that I was sad that day, and we talked about it.
However, I was the one who grieved the most that year. It was, quite honestly, the hardest year ever.
I wonder how YOU are doing???
What really helped me turn a corner happened one day when the kids were at school (I was a SAHM then). I was cleaning my closet, and I found my old albums from when I was a baby. I sat down and went through the albums. Because my parents divorced when I was very young, I didn't have a lot of pictures. But he and I had reconciled as adults, and he had come to visit me a few times, so I had pictures from those visits as well. I spent a couple of hours crying, remembering, and crying some more. It was the most freeing day, and I felt, afterward, like I finally had turned a corner in the grieving process.
I think it's good to do something together but do something on your own as well.
My heart goes out to you and your family.
I began knitting BECAUSE I lost my best friend. It has been one year, 6 months and 6 days since he died. It was VERY unexpected as he was only 33 and in excellent health. .
Daniel and I had discussed "what if's" of death, because his father was very ill and wanted to discuss things. We both agreed that while it would be difficult to deal with anniversay of losing someone we loved so much, we didn't want each other to spend the day in mourning. We both believe you go on to some other existance after you die and we thought that it would feel horrible for the person who died to see all their loved ones mourning and not be able to comfort them.
So...We agreed that we would celebrate each others life. We both wanted to make the world a better place. We each chose something that WE personally felt would make an impact on the world (or our corner of it).
Daniels father had done construction all his life. He asked us to honor him by volunteering one day a year to Habitat for Humanity or Christmas In April, helping provide homes for others. We would do this in his name.
Daniel loved trees. :) He used to be able to name them all. He loved the smell of the Leland Cypress, the bark of the birch, the needles of the loblolly pine. He asked us to spend the day we honor him planting trees.
We figured that this way we could continue contributing to the world long after we died. We could make the world a better place even when we were no longer in it. I would think of something you dad loved, or something that made him proud and spend the day doing that in his honor.
:hug: :hug: :hug:
04-01-2007, 03:14 AM
Thank you guys for all your wonderful ideas and words of kindness~!
04-01-2007, 04:04 AM
I'm so sorry for you losing your father, and for what sounds like an incredibly sad year for your family and friends. I remember my dad passing when I was 21, after a horrendously difficult terminal illness. I grieved more than I thought possible, but was also relieved that he wasn't suffering anymore. Which was why I was blindsided by being so unbelievably sad on the 1 yr anniversary - found out that it's common for the body to remember! even if you don't want to. I now spend the days approaching and the actual day remembering my father and our relationship (more so than usual), consciously trying to keep the memories alive, and speaking with my family about him. Even speaking with him! - hey, just b/c he can't talk back doesn't mean he isn't listening! ;)
I know and trust you will find the best way to heal yourself - just by asking us is a sign you will be ok. It's ok to be sad, it's ok to be angry, it's ok to FEEL. No matter how nutty, YOU choose what will be meaningful/healing for you (just blow the candles out, ok? ;), and you'll find your way back to the light ...
Here's to celebrating your dad's life! And that you had time together with him ....
04-01-2007, 08:29 AM
Just wanted to send a :hug:
04-01-2007, 09:05 AM
I don't remember getting together with the family on the anniversary of my dad's death, but any time we are together it's story time....how mom and dad met, the funny letters he wrote her when they were apart, playing with us kids when we were little (too small to remember), memories of him as we were growing up, and since I worked with him every single day in the family business, lots of fun stories from that.
Of course there are tears, but Dad loved life and had a wonderful sense of humor so the fun (and funny) times are the ones we talk about.
And, not to slam anyone's suggestion, but the balloon release isn't really a great thing to do - it's very harmful to wildlife when they deflate and come down. It resembles food to them, and they try to eat it....with very unpleasant consequences. And yes, I am an animal nut - something else I got from my Dad. :hug:
04-01-2007, 11:11 AM
The Jewish custom is to light a candle that lasts 24 hours. We do that and go to synagogue. Not that you have to go to synagogue but the candles are available in most supermarkets. When the anniversary of my father's death comes around I just spend the day thinking about all the nice times I had with him and, as Jan says, what a wonderful grandfather he would have been.
04-01-2007, 01:31 PM
Thank you guys again for all your kindness..
and I :heart: the idea of lighting a candle in his name~ I could do that at home and possibly get a lovely scented candles so when everytime I see it or smell I can think of Dad~
thank you guys for sharing your losses with me and you :heart:
04-01-2007, 02:12 PM
I hope memories of him live on as blessings to you. :hug:
04-01-2007, 05:13 PM
Ainee, I'm so sorry that last year has been filled with such sadness. :hug: We just commemorated a year already that my grandma has died; yes, the first year is very much the hardest, and it never really gets "easier" as you don't forget the person and the pain of losing them doesn't go away, but you do slowly but surely heal. My grandma had Alzheimer's for quite some time, so I thought it might be "easier" when she died--you know, because she wasn't suffering so badly anymore, but it wasn't. She was a very exceptional grandma...more like a best friend instead of an older elder. Somehow, she always "got" us kids, even though there was a big age gap, and she always treated us grandkids like we were pure gold, and she'd do anything for us. I still miss her so much. She was fun and full of life, and cheerful even though she had a very hard life.
My family spent the year of her death anniversary day Sunday at church and after regular service, we had a memorial service for her. It is customary to offer a special type of food at church for these types of services, prepared in honor of the deceased. My mom also hosted coffee hour at the church hall, serving others, as a way of honoring my grandma. The rest of us sat and talked with extended family as we don't get to see each other very often. We talked a little about her and actually, it wasn't as hard as I thought it might be. I live pretty far out of town so I didn't get a chance to also go to the cemetery (because that's even farther away), and honestly, it's probably better for now. I'm not sure I was "ready" then to go to the cemetery yet.
My uncle and grandmas are the closest relatives to me to die, so I can't say how it might be to lose a parent (yet), but I would say to be gentle to yourself. Everybody grieves differently, and there's no "rulebooks" on how to do it. I send out big hugs to you and your family. :heart: Maybe talking about fun memories or silly things that your dad did would be helpful? When my dad turned 60, I made him a quilt with TONS of his sayings included on it (my dad is quite the character!). I know that when he passes, when everyone is ready to remember funny things about him, we're going to have a riot over that quilt and remembering all the things he used to say.
04-01-2007, 11:54 PM
How about trying something new and exciting as a family? like a new sport or a new game? I would just suggest really bonding with the family you do have so that you can cherish the moments with everyone you are lucky to still have with you. My boyfriend likes playing darts, I like playing pool - you could try those. We have a beach here, but I don't know if you have a beach. That could be fun though. Or maybe a lake?
Just really try to think of something in your area that is different that you don't normally do. Go to the museum, skip rocks on the pond in memory of everyone who has passed, particularly your father. Certainly something that day will be in tribute to him, if not the whole day itself and your love for everyone around you. We have paddle boats here and a ferry. Um, the aquarium if you have one?
I know what it is like to have so many family and friends die in one year. One year about 12 friends and family died. I didn't know all of them, but I knew quite a few. It was a rought year. Luckily for me, the days were usually so traumatic for me, I guess, that I just forgot the actual date. I just get by doing fun things for me and try to keep the family bonds strong around those times.