If you follow me on Facebook, you know these last few days were tricky for me. I ended up sick the first day into February vacation (curse of the teacher life lol) and in those following days I was tired and rundown and thinking got the best of me. I had Luke Inwood on my brain and the sad thoughts were flooding my daylight hours. The back end of the week brought love and light and my heart was lifted, but February continues to mark the beginning of my “anniversary road”.
Coming into the first anniversary of a loved one’s death is fraught with pitfalls. I believe energetically you start ramping up your defenses in preparation for your “Day”. The anticipation of that day and thinking about how you will handle it and worrying about your emotions can be very overwhelming. Add in concern over how everyone else is going to handle The Day and it takes matters to a whole other level. What is John’s mood going to be? What is Logan thinking? Are the kids all going to come over? Should we be alone or should we invite everyone? What exactly do we do? All these questions swirl around as you try and navigate the day and all the emotions that entails.
There is no handbook on how to best handle the day that destroyed your heart. It’s not like you want to celebrate. It’s not like you want to spend the whole day crying, either. But it does need to be recognized. Like the birth of our children, their loss marks a turning point in our lives – both an end and a beginning as who we are will never be the same.
Leading up to the one year anniversary of Luke’s death I was a wreck. Yes, I had the distraction of school and the children, and yes, Billy was fueling me with those daily hugs, but what you don’t know before loss is that you relive every. single. moment. leading up to the day they passed away. It’s like going through the whole thing another time. Luke had so many pivotal moments between February vacation and April 15th that I felt like every day was a reminder of his pain and focusing on it broke my heart a second time. I remember posting on Twitter the song Unsteady by the XAmbassadors because it captured exactly how I was feeling leading into the big day. One of the lads reached out to say “ME TOO” and I knew we were all in for one heck of a walk down memory lane.
So here’s what I need you to know: If you are starting down the path to the anniversary of your loved one’s death, you might be asking “What fresh hell is this?!” And it’s true. The only thing more difficult than losing a piece of your heart the first time, is feeling like you are losing them all over again. The hard truth is… you can’t avoid it so I wouldn’t try. I would, however, recommend Being gentle with yourself during this time. Do whatever feels right – sleep more, eat more, be alone more. Or the opposite of all that. Just really try to take care of you. Anyone who has survived almost 365 days without someone they love deserves a little TLC. Xxx