Anniversaries after Trauma

Whether it is the end of a relationship, the death of a loved one, or the end of a career, loss can mar the day that it happened for a lifetime.

The anniversaries come annually and the pain feels as raw as it did the day it happened; the guilt kicks in and the desire to hide under the covers couldn’t be more palpable.

How do you create a new relationship with that day, especially when those days can be celebrations like holidays or Christmas?

The short answer is, you have got to grieve for the loss. Cry, scream, shout, hurt, feel hopeless, feel guilt and let it all come out. And that’s for all loss, not just the death of a loved one.

The patterns with a career loss and end of a relationship can be very similar to the loss of a life. Sounds almost easy, except it isn’t because we put everything on a comparison stick and beat ourselves over the head with it for hurting when ‘they had it so much worse’ or ‘it could have been worse’. We shame ourselves into trying not to hurt.

The fact is that it sucks whichever way you look at it and your pain is still pain even if someone else has experienced comparatively more.

When you really process the loss it gives space to bring new meaning into the day other than sadness. It doesn’t mean you forget the person, the job or the relationship, it just means there is an opportunity to experience something new and exciting on that day.

My Journey with Grief

For 28 years that day has been Valentine’s Day. The day my Dad was killed. Ever since he was killed (I was 3), each year Valentine’s has been sad and I have not wanted to celebrate it. I would celebrate either before Valentine’s Day or after but never on the day. 

Yesterday, was the first time I wanted to celebrate it on the day, to be all mushy, to be held and be loved up. It felt great and while I know it’s still the anniversary of my dad’s death, it wasn’t my only focus of the day.

You can have the same experience of being able to enjoy the day that you experienced loss again because being able to feel love and happiness on a day that for so long was tainted by loss and hurt is life-changing and gives back breath where you feel suffocated.

Are you ready to experience happiness on an anniversary day instead of sadness?

To book a free 30 minutes discovery session with me, fill out the form here.

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