Anniversary – a day to remember or recall an event. Events like weddings and graduations, new jobs and the first time you met someone you love are all times to remember with good friends and family, good food and much laughter!

But there are also anniversaries that I sometimes wish would pass by each year quietly, even forget some years. But in 18 years I have forgotten the anniversary day but remembered it on the day after. My memories of the person are wonderful and do bring on laughter! But it is the anniversary of his death, and so there are conflicting memories but, I also remember his birthday bringing some balances there.

Grief is a complicated, personal thing. My husband and I do not have the same anniversaries in recalling our son’s life. That gives us each an opportunity to support each other and receive support from each other. We are the ones most likely to remember the cause of what has brought on another wave of grief, yes, even decades later!

Today, I am speaking about the anniversary and grief experienced by those who have had a child die, whether it was during a pregnancy or the child was 70 and the parent is 90. A child dying before their parent breaks a “normal” that is written in stone. Good friends and extended family are so very important to those of us who belong to such a club. And a simple act can mean so much and help us keep going with a heart that continues to live with a healing bruise.

When someone you know has a child die, mark that year on the date in your calendar and let it be a reminder to you every year to send a card, make a call, or invite them to lunch the day after. It is just that simple reaching out, an affirmation that the child may be gone but not forgotten. Another anniversary celebrated. (Thank you Joyce and Fred for remembering.)

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