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What do you do on anniversaries of death? Any nice rituals?

(15 Posts)
WideWebWitch Mon 16-May-05 12:29:57

It's 4 years on Wednesday since my dad died. Last year I met 1 of my sisters for a picnic and I can't remember what I did the year before. I know the one year anniversary was very tough and dp sent me and ds on a home made treasure hunt to take our minds off it as he was at work. I don't have anywhere special to go to remember my dad as he was cremated, not buried, and the ashes were scattered at Hell's Mouth in Cornwall, which is too far for a day trip. All of the city I live in reminds me of him though as I lived here and with him for a while in my twenties.

This Weds my step sister is coming round and we're going to drink some Champagne and toast his life but I just wondered what other people do and if any of it helps? I think my dad would say, if he were here, something like 'I want you to remember me in your heart and on every day, not just this one.' But of course, he isn't here to tell me that and I just wondered what you do, if anything. TIA.

Fio2 Mon 16-May-05 12:31:06

This year was 3 years since my sister died and I went to Canterbury Cathedral and lit a candle, and burst into tears and got loved up by a vicar.

WideWebWitch Mon 16-May-05 12:32:03

Oh I remember Fio! Did it help?

jessicasmummy Mon 16-May-05 12:33:36

very interesting thread. my mum would be gone a year in august and sad to say i have been thinking about this already... my mum was also cremated and scattered too far from home to visit, so was looking at what to do?!

Fio2 Mon 16-May-05 12:33:48

yes it did. i am not even religious but its the atmosphere of the cathedral and the calm. I felt it was a nice way to remember her, even though i would have rather hugged her

WideWebWitch Mon 16-May-05 12:36:44

Fio, I went to a cathedral recently with dd and said to myself 'ok, if there's is anything after death, give me a sign' (I don't believe there is, I really don't btw) and a minute later noticed a plaque on the wall which said "Donated by the students of St Matthias College blah blah" which is the college my dad went to and later taught at for a while. I know it was just coincidence but it stopped me in my tracks for a minute. Jessicasmummy, I'm sorry about your mum too, that's very recent.

WideWebWitch Mon 16-May-05 12:37:39

There are hundreds of colleges in this city too, so it's not like it's the only one! It's still coincidence but less of one than it might be in other cities.

Fio2 Mon 16-May-05 12:42:05

ikwym www, i had to 'ask' the vicar for a candle in the church and she fetched one from another place as I had dd's wheelchair with me. She blessed my daughter and comforted me when I was upset and I took comfort that it was a sign from my sister

tortoiseshell Mon 16-May-05 13:08:45

I don't have any anniversaries to remember yet, but think probably going for a walk in the countryside would be a good way to have some space for your own thoughts and feelings. Hope the day goes ok for you.

jessicasmummy Mon 16-May-05 13:11:34

so far for things that would have been mums birthday, xmas etc i have walked along the sea front and thrown stones in.... one for each year of my life she was with me - 21. i do this because she was scattered in the sea in scotland and its where i feel closest to her.

just wanted something a little different for the first anniversary tho.

Chandra Mon 16-May-05 13:20:58

... back at home, my family normally attend a remembrance mass and afterwards, we (well, them, I'm living too far now to be able to make it) meet in somebody's house to chat about the person and have something to eat. Though the mass is a very "serious" event where the full clan gathers, the meeting afterwards is normally like a nice get toghether of people who have not seen each other in a good time. So it's like a catching up time sprinkled with some happy memories of the person who died, the meeting is always lovely, everybody seem very happy to see each other and everybody has a story to share.

If I were to choose how to be remembered, I would like people to forget about my death date and probably gather on my birthday to remember the good times we had together.

slartibardfast Mon 16-May-05 13:34:55

I used to phone my mum regularly on a Sunday morning, for many years before she died - just to tell her what we had been doing all week. These days I sit down quietly at about the same time for a few moments and think what I would have said, and what she would have approved of or chided me about. I find it helps.

triceratops Mon 16-May-05 13:35:25

We recently went through the 2nd anniversary of my FIL's death. We sat as a family and went through old photo albums and talked about him. Ds is too young to remember him so I think it is important that he hears the stories.

We planted snowdrops on his birthday and left a candle burning in the window and said prayers for him at church. I like a ritual, it gives you a chance to have a howl and to wallow in your feelings for a bit, and then you can feel a bit better afterwards.

sassy Mon 16-May-05 13:58:41

The first year after my mum died, I bought some yellow roses ( her fave flower) and then went on one of her favourite walks. At the top of the hill I sat and had a think ( and a cry) and left one of the roses on a tree stump, secured by a stone. Took the rest home and enjoyed them in my home.
Wanted this to become an annual ritual but ever since then I've had LOs and it has been too complicated to manage. Will do it again when they are big enough to come with me though.

WideWebWitch Tue 17-May-05 08:32:57

Thanks for these other ideas, Ilike the idea of a ritual of some kind, I think rituals are important and helpful for a lot of occasions. Chandra, I think about him every day, not just the anniversary of his death but that day just seems harder than his birthday, which I rarely remembered when he was alive so am hardly likely to now! But I take your point, I do.

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