I continue to remember the anniversary of my late husband’s death. It’s an odd thing to commemorate, this occasion that was the opposite of joy, but how do you ignore it? Birthdays, wedding anniversaries and other happy days from the past fold into a store of pleasing memories. Death day stands alone as a disturbing anniversary that still warrants attention.
You can say, “Happy Birthday” on the date of your loved one’s birth, even when he’s gone, but “Happy Death Day” doesn’t strike the right sentiment. There is an occasion to permit yourself joy on this day, though, and that is when the year comes around that you are, yourself, happy in life again despite this anniversary. Your person is gone, yes, but your love for life has returned if you’re lucky. Rather than making a commitment to a day of sadness every year, let this be an anniversary of joy. You’ll never be happy to have lost the one you loved but commemorate this day in a way that reminds you that your life is still worthy of treasuring, and gratitude for the love you’ve experienced still brings you joy, then and now.