Today, Sunday July 29th, is the second anniversary of Benjamin’s death. Two years ago I let him go, cradled and cried over his tiny body, and let him go again. Two days ago I held his ashes and sobbed, missing him as much as I did in those first impossible days.
Anniversaries are hard.
My body knew this was coming but my mind kept leaping over the emotional impact like Superman over a burning building. I kept myself busy. I thought about how we might mark the date. I wondered who would remember.
It hit me like a sucker punch to the solar plexus.
A few days ago I began to feel raw. Tears sat right behind my eyes, threatening overflow. My body ached to move, my spirit to find silence. The cravings for self-care were as physical as a newly reformed smoker’s desire for a cigarette. I know enough to listen when the need is strong but it’s tricky. I’m no longer in acute daily grief. Ben’s death is as much a part of me as my right arm, and almost as easy to take for granted, until the scar tissue in my heart lets me know there’s a storm coming.
Returning to what I’ve learned in the last two years I dance, I journal, I meditate. I sit by the ocean and let the waves carry the pain away. I watch the thoughts that can take me from grief to suffering and I do my best to let them go. I embrace my humanity and honor the depth of my love. I cry.
I find my way. Again. And again. And again.
And you? What do you do when the hard anniversaries hit? I’d love to know. Leave a comment or email me and I’ll compile the answers into another post. Every path is different but it’s nice to find signposts left by others along the way.
If you’re looking for signposts, consider downloading The Picking Up the Pieces Guide. It’s full of stories, love, tools and resources to support you on your grief journey. And it’s free!