Has the First Year Death Anniversary passed? - Robin Chodak

Has the First Year Death Anniversary passed?

first year death

If you are like me you probably can’t believe that the first year death anniversary of your loved is near or has passed.  As the month approached I felt an energy shift. There was a palpable heaviness in the air.  

It moved me to make plans and prepare for the upcoming day of sadness. I did my best to engage in self-care and surround myself with supportive people and those whom Gerry loved.  Throughout the month I did things to honor him such as: eating chocolate and ice cream, cycling, playing golf and dancing (in my home).  Those were the things Gerry loved to do.  

Some days were good and others I felt I was in a time machine being sucked back to the moment of Gerry’s death and stricken with deep grief.  

Gerry’s first year death anniversay 9/28/20 was also Yom Kippur, the most holiest and solemn of the Jewish holidays.  Although I was only Jewish by marriage, the day was solemn for me too and I followed its customs.  On that date I lit the Yahrzeit candle in memory of Gerry, I fasted, prayed and streamed online services from Temple.  I looked at pictures of my life with Gerry and cried many tears.  It was truly a day to mourn the loss of an amazing man and a future with him.

This wasn’t a “first year death anniversary” of a husband for me.  Sadly, I lost my former husband Steve in 2005. Therefore I knew the possibility of a turning point that often brings some closure, acceptance and meaning to a loved one’s death.  For me it was a time of reflection.

Time to Examine after the Death Anniversary

The days and weeks approaching the first year death anniversary offers the opportunity to examine the entire year and all the stages of grief that have been experienced.  A sudden loss feels like a blip in our life’s story.  In a blink of the eye everything had changed.  At times it still feels like yesterday that it happened and Gerry’s absence is gut-wrenching.  At other times I feel in the flow and am allowing life to happen.  As I write this I remember my angst.  My heart, body and mind felt severed from the profound separation of Gerry.  At that time I was unable to see beyond it, but now I say to myself, “I’ve come a long way,” yet I understand I still have a long road ahead. 

 It’s really a neverending journey.   It’s about learning to integrate the pain into your life while you’re still living and  the ability to continue to create your story. Why? Because it’s not over yet! As long as you are still breathing you are writing pages in your book of life.

Beginning Stages

In the beginning stages while in shock I couldn’t get myself out of bed, let alone eat.  If you have lost a loved one tragically or suddenly this is a normal reaction.  Your mind has spiraled into a confused state and your body feels numb. You feel seperated from yourself.  But as time moves painstakingly and slowly on, so do you. Little by little your days get easier and the pain is no longer stabbing you.  You will find that you can laugh and enjoy life again.  This is the normal grief process.  We are all meant to live and love our life the best we can.  It is our God given gift.  Therefore, I invite you to set your intention to go ahead and do so!

Consequently, your “first year death anniversary” may have come and gone as mine has and I hope that you can reflect on your grief journey and now begin to look ahead with hope just as the Jewish people do; for God has given us another year to live and renew our souls.

Keep writing your story!

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Love and Light,

Robin Chodak

Certified Grief/Life/Spiritual Coach,Mindfulness Meditation teacher, NLP and Reiki Practitioner

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Robin

I am a woman on a journey of recovery after the suicide of my husband in 2005. It has been a long voyage, but I was able to create a new identity and find happiness again after much hard work. I hope that I can help you along this path, too.

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