• Laura

Anniversaries and Seasonal Holidays

As it’s my birthday next week I thought I would write about Anniversaries and Seasonal Holidays.

My mum always made my birthday so special. She would always have the day off, make me an amazing breakfast in the morning and would always be planning it two, sometimes three months before! I remember one birthday I came downstairs and she had my uncle and my dad blowing up helium balloons and filled the ceiling in the living room with balloons. I always used to love seeing how happy she was when she did something for me and could finally show me, she wasn't good at keeping secrets, she always got way too excited!

So how can I love birthdays when the person who made my birthday so special is no longer here?

It’s usually around the build up that I start to get emotional, I have no motivation and I just can't wait until it’s all over. This is a really hard topic to talk about however I feel it’s these kinds of days that people can forget are just as hard too. You want to be surrounded by the people you love on your birthday and with a lot of our birthdays being in lockdown too I’m sure they’ve been lonely already and not how most of us planned to spend our day let alone with your grief too. I really hope that wherever you are that you’re taking time for yourself, not just on these days but everyday because it is so important.

Anniversaries are another tough part of the year. Do you mark it? Do you just go to work to distract yourself? Do you spend it with those you love or alone? I will always light a candle in memory of my loved one. This year I was working as it was also mothers day on my mum's anniversary and I thought it’s best I get out of the house. I tried to use that day as a day to think of everything I’ve gained in my loss. I have come across so many amazing people with painfully beautiful stories to tell. I’ve formed close relationships with people that I’d never of thought would’ve happened. But no matter how hard I tried with every gain there was a loss. I’ve also lost a lot of support from people I never thought wouldn’t be part of my life now.

If on these anniversaries you don’t feel like doing anything then don’t! Always look after yourself. Anniversaries will always be there, they can’t be avoided no matter how hard you try. I was always told that the first anniversary is the hardest, the first mothers day, fathers day, birthday, and I’m sure for some people that’s how it is. But for me it wasn’t. I find every one as hard as the one before. It doesn’t get easier with time, you just find new ways to mark these days and remember your loved one that is no longer with us. Talking about your loved one will really help. Remember them, remember all the little quirks that made them, them, and never forget how much they loved you. I love talking about my grandad, my mum and my uncle. Never stop talking, it’s the most precious gift we have, to talk.

Seasonal holidays can be just as hard. For me Christmas is always really difficult. My mum's side loved christmas. Christmas in 2018 was a hard one, my mum and my uncle died in that year, so it was just the four of us and like most plans, it didn’t go how I hoped. So I decided to make 2019 much better, My boyfriend and I booked to stay in a lodge in Cornwall on our own away from everyone else and it was the best decision we had made. Sometimes you need to be selfish and think of your own happiness. I still had my moments where it hurt, but it was so calming being in a lodge in the middle of nowhere that it gave me some time to just be with my thoughts.

You can’t please everyone in life, but what you can do is please yourself and although it might not be what other people want, if it’s going to make you happier than you are right now, do it. This is something I had to come to terms with, especially on days like anniversaries or my birthday or even Christmas. Do what you want to do, light a candle, go to work. Go and do something you used to do with your loved one, alone or with company.

But remember them, and you can use these events in life to do just that. Whatever you do, do it with all of your heart.

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