Even though the time that has passed since deathNathalie Himmelrich
does not determine the amount of grief left to be felt,
it still gives us information
on the length of time
we managed to survive without them.
What does grief and grief work look like 10 years on?
Today is my mother’s 10th year death anniversary. She died from suicide following years of depression, just 4.5 months after my daughter’s death.
First of all, it feels partly unreal that it’s already 10 years and partly I’m in sort of disbelief about the fact that she died at all.
Let me be clear: I’m cognitively absolutely clear that she is dead. And still, it’s somehow strangely unreal.
Grief still works through me
Today, I noticed feeling on edge, easily annoyed by trivial things. That’s normal and to be expected when the layer of ice over grief is thinned through an anniversary date. Honestly, I think my physical body is aware of and reacting in response to the approaching anniversary way before the mind catches up.
Feelings come and go
I let myself sit with feelings as they come and go, choose to look at memories and photos in honour of her, become teary looking at certain ones, plan to visit the cemetery, and leave ten roses for her. I feel restless, a bit lost, and let myself be in it. And then I do something else for a while and let it rest.
How long has it been for you? How do you feel around your loved one’s death anniversary? Share with me here.
Grief over time
If you want to read more about how grief changed over the years, you might find the following articles interesting to read:
10 years into grief (child loss)
7 years into grief (child loss)
6 years into grief (child loss)
5 years into grief (child loss)
4 years into grief (sibling loss, mother loss, child loss)
- Gusts Of Grief – 4.5 years into grief seen through the eyes of a surviving twin (sibling loss)
- You Have Got To Be Strong Now – reflections on my mother´s death 4 year into grief (mother loss)
- Dear Child Of Mine – 4 years into grief (child loss)
Donna M Brogni says
It will be seven years for my husband and your right my bodyy feels shaken or I am uneasy then all of a sudden I realize that oh its a birthday or anniversary it is always there to remind you even if your not thinking about it.I go to the cemetery on those special days and visit them.I use to go to the cemetery every week but now it is usually once a month and sometimes I feel guilty when I do not go.It just makes me feel good.
Nathalie Himmelrich says
7 years… I´m sorry for your loss, Donna.
I remember writing about grief in the 7th year (here).
It is helpful for me to know that I have written so much over the past 10 years and as I look back I notice the changes over time.
Donna, I encourage you to do more of what is helpful to you at any given moment. This will change over the years. This is normal and to be expected.
Much Love, Nathalie
In a few weeks it will be 5 years since we lost our son, he lived with us earth side until he was 12 weeks old, that was the start of my grief journey.
2 and a half months after losing my son, my brother suicided after his battle with depression. I was trying to help him with his battle while going through my grief. I thought I had helped him. My grief quickly turned to anger and a different type of grief.
4 months ago, I lost my Mum, she passed away from emphysema, she began smoking again after my Brother’s Death.
I know what it’s like to lose a child, and then I watched my Mum’s battle after losing her child by suicide. I can’t imagine her pain, especially after losing her Grandson too.
She was under palliative care for 6 months before she passed. I was not ready to lose her too.
I miss them all dearly, I still have days when I am angry at my brother.
My son would be starting school in February, it’s a really difficult time. But just like every anniversary I start to feel it before I even realise it. I know the date is coming but the emotion sneaks up on me.
I have a 10 year old and 3 year old girl and at the moment helping my Dad learn to live without his wife of almost 60 years.
Thankfully my husband is very supportive.
They way you explained the box, is spot on. Some days I want to keep shut, locked and never open it.
Sometimes I need to open it a little, and other days I wonder if I will ever be ok with opening it completely.
I have learnt that grief is a journey
Thank you for your words
Nathalie Himmelrich says
Yes, yes, yes: Grief is a journey or maybe it is like a pilgrimage. We don’t really know what happens on the way, we go on and on, sometimes it is hard work, other times we meet strangers who unexpectedly become friends, we collect some precious stones along the way and… we might end up somewhere we didn’t expect.
Your life seems to be giving you multiple intertwined grief pilgrimages. Some might say: ‘I don’t know how you can handle this.’ I would say: ‘Use the experience you have gained from your ‘older’ pilgrimages for ‘newer’ journeys. You have already so much experience in not just surviving but also in creating and living again after loss.’
One thing I know from raising a child while grieving: Those little beings show us the way to find beauty within the rough.
Much Love, Nathalie