Every year, in second week of December, I get really quite sentimental. When I was in college, my father died suddenly the week of fall semester finals, right before Christmas. To celebrate, some years, I’ve spent the entire day, or week, feeling sad about his passing, and doing not much of anything other than watching Law and Order re-runs and eating macaroni and cheese. Other years, I’ve also tried to do something fun that he would’ve liked to do - like go to a cool museum or restaurant. Eat a lobster. Make something fun out of chemistry. Laugh at the stories he always told about his childhood. Other times, I just decided to pretend it didn’t exist at all.
At some point, my twin sister and I began to wonder - does he even care that we make a big deal about this day? Would he rather we just save ourselves a day from sadness and remembrance, and forget about it all together? Does he want me to take a whole day to remember him and do nothing else? Go out to dinner? Just make note of it and go on with our day? What does he want, anyway?
And, if you’re reading this, you may also be thinking,
What should I do to best celebrate, remember, and honor my loved one?
Don’t worry - the answer is simple: What would they want you to do?
Truth is, when your loved one crosses over, while they may have more perspective, and have had a chance to take a timeout and reflect, there’s not much else that changes. For most of us, when we cross into the Light, we don’t become angel-saints of beings. Your mom is still your mom. Your best friend is still your best friend. Their personality is the same as it always was - there’s only one difference really - they lack a physical body.Thus, they would want you to do for them exactly what you may have done when they were still with you on earth.
Always bought a card with a nice note to say you were thinking about them? Simply send a thought about them of remembrance their way- and then go on about your day!
Would you have taken this person on an all day excursion of fun, adventures and new restaurants? Go! On a fun adventure - either alone or with another to share in the excursion.
Okay, so that sounds alright - but still not sure what your loved one would even want for a ‘death anniversary’ ceremony or ritual? Think about it this way.
Birth anniversaries (birth-days) are like death anniversaries in what is being celebrated.
In essence, they both celebrate the beauty of life, and the beauty of your loved one’s being.
Ask, what would mom have wanted for her birthday?
Then, try to recreate that. Would she have felt really nice having a day all about her? She might really love that you made a big deal of her on this day. On the other hand, would your fiancé have never wanted anyone to mention it, but yet, you’d do something small anyway? Do that.
Have a small cupcake for yourself, with a candle. Sing a song, and enjoy it for the both of you. Remember how much he loved cakes, and the fun you had picking out the best treat is the shop.
If your loved one couldn’t wait to celebrate their birthday, chances are, they would like their death anniversary to be remembered, as well. If they would prefer you kept quiet, then zip your lips.
However, even in the smallest amount, deep down, most people like to be thought of . . . even for just a minute. Even if it’s just to say “Happy Birthday”, you may choose to just wake up that morning and say, “I love you, Dad” over a cup of coffee - and let that be all.
No matter what you choose to do to celebrate the life of your loved one, if anything at all,
Treat your loved one's death anniversary as you would a birthday.
For many of us, including your loved ones on the Other Side, prefer to remember the times of their lives they shared with you, rather than those times where they were without you.
If you celebrate at all, celebrate the Life, not the Death.
With much love,