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Marking Milestones Page 2


Wedding Anniversary: Whew. Okay. I decided that being alone on my anniversary would be a perfectly awful way to "celebrate" the day. Instead, I decided to pack up and go visit our dearest friends who live out of state. The drive will keep my mind occupied, and my friends will deliver the TLC I need. I plan to drink the same wine and munch the same snack crackers that we shared on our first date. And I'll pour a glass for John!

Death Anniversaries: For the first year, I find myself marking every month. Is it healthy? I don't know. But I can't NOT think of it. I light candles, I talk or write to John about how I'm coping without him. I look at our photo albums. I remember my good fortune in finding him at a young age and having many good years together. I'm finding that 6 months is a bigger deal than 5 months. I can't imagine what I'll be like on the one-year anniversary. But I plan to spend that day with friends who knew him and will be willing to share memories, like an informal one-year memorial service.

A woman who lost her husband just days before I did spent the 6-month day at his grave. She gave him flowers, talked with him a while, then poured his favorite libation over the ground -- a toast to his new life on the other side.

A recent widower told me that buying his wife's favorite flowers and tossing them into the river made the day easier. Another released balloons. Almost any ceremony you can think of that memorializes your special someone will lift your heart just a bit.

One last note: I've found that what you expect is what you get. If you THINK you are going to be absolutely miserable, then you will be. If you decide that you can make plans and manage, you will. Our intentions absolutely manifest in our lives. So intend to have the best day you can under bad circumstances, and MAKE PLANS that fit your life, your family, and your personal grieving style.

And, Hey! Don't forget your extended family at Beyond Indigo. We want to hear from you, what your plans are, how you will mark those special milestones, and how you feel afterward. Remember, we're all on this journey together.