Defined by grief, five years on?

Wow. I find it hard to believe that it’s possible to feel like this. Listening to Labi Siffre at the moment, singing about how there’s ‘Something Inside So Strong‘. I’m trying to believe it, but it’s moulded around a waterfall of anti-Easter feeling. I don’t want to forget, but nor do I want to feel paralysed by it every year.

I suppose it’s just a case of learning to accept that Easter will always be, whether I want it to or not, and it will always be the anniversary. Because I love her, I feel this discomfort. I know there are many other things than music and origami that I can use to help me get through this, and I intend to continue to write about it here, but I’d really like to know:

What are the ways you use for dealing with anniversaries? Are there things that have helped or hindered you in the process of doing so? Please feel free to share in the comments. 


About Casey Bottono

I am in love with language. I write poetry and fiction in a wide variety of genres. Most recently, I have been shortlisted as a finalist in the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities' Pen2Paper contest.
This entry was posted in anniversaries, anticipation, Chris, cyberloss, flashbacks and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Defined by grief, five years on?

  1. Chimplet says:

    It was 11 years in February since my brother passed away, and for the last couple of years I have found it harder the day before than on the day itself; I think it’s the anticipation and the fact that I remember it as being the last day I saw him alive. One thing I have learnt, is that how I feel is not necessarily something I can control. I guess you just have to go with the flow.
    I used to find his birthday was a horrible time; I felt angry and cheated that he wasn’t here and growing up. Well, he would have been 38 yesterday and for the most part it was ok; I shared a song that reminded me of happy times with him on Facebook and was comforted and amused by peoples comments and sharing of memories.
    As time goes on, it is sometimes more challenging to deal with loss than in the immediate aftermath. The shock is gone, yet other people assume it’s fine because it wasn’t recent. Just the other day, a friend kind of checked that “it wasn’t like, last year or something.” I told her no, but there were still days that emotions run high; I asked her to imagine how she’d feel if she hadn’t seen someone she was incredibly close to for over 4,000 days. Point taken!
    I think anniversaries should be dealt with in whatever way feels best at the time. Celebrating their life with a few drinks with friends, visiting the grave or lighting a candle, or staying at home and crying and eating ice-cream…you gotta do what’s right for you!

    • Casey B says:

      Thanks, Dee.

      Unfortunately I don’t have the luxury of physically visiting Chris’ grave, as she lived in Argentina. I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with it yet. I think there’ll be writing. Of course there’ll be writing, no event that I’m marking would be the same without writing. I get what you mean by ‘more challenging to deal with loss than in the immediate aftermath,’ reading your post on eleven years was eye opening, I share the same sort of feeling about five years. It’s not even an issue of it having been longer that she’s been gone than I actually knew her. That was the case the moment she’d been gone for two years. For some reason, five years feels like a milestone, not sure whether it’s because I subconsciously feel like I should be over it by now, or whether it’s just amplified normal anniversary feeling. I guess I’ll have to work that one out.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment,


  2. GLEN LORD says:

    I find that spending time with my memories, can help, I also add a little ceremony to the day my son was 4 when he died so I light 4 candles when I wake. With each one i savor the moment and speak aloud his full name Noah Thomas Emory Lord , I than recall a memory and light a candle, I do this for all four.

    Than evening when It is time to go to bed I extinguish each candle, again saying his full name and thanking him for a memory.

    It is painful on one level but I find it helps

    • Casey B says:

      Thanks so much, Glen. I really appreciate your taking the time to comment. I love your ritual. I wonder if it could be adapted? I like the idea of lighting a candle very much, and I think the recall of memories will be helpful. Looking forward to sharing the article I’ve written with you.

      Best wishes,


  3. I do what I always do, I write about it. Writing, journaling and blogging have been life-savers for me. I especially love blogging because reading what others are going through is wonderfully comforting and healing. Also, the interaction is marvelous. Plus, there’s nothing quite like knowing you aren’t alone, no matter what you’re talking about. Also, there’s nothing like escaping in a good book or movie. Sorry for your loss and for the upcoming reminders. They are always there aren’t they?

    • Casey B says:

      Hi, Nancy.

      Thanks for your comment. The reminders are a real pain (no pun intended) especially when it’s a time of year that the rest of the Christian (and increasingly secular) world associates with chocolate and joy, and heralds with large banners, they’re pretty much inescapable. Blogging’s a great outlet, though. I’m finding that venting it here and leaving it behind helps. ‘Nothing quite like knowing you aren’t alone’ – bingo. I’ve found reading others’ blogs surprisingly useful, even though they’re not dealing with the same type of loss. I find myself nodding along with most of the sentiments expressed. Man, this is getting book length, so I’ll stop here.

      Appreciate your dropping by, best wishes,


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  6. Jenny bevis says:

    My husband became ill at Christmas, was terminally diagnosed on Valentine’s day and died five years ago today just before Easter – today I lit a candle and remembered all the happy times through our forty year marriage. The pain changes but never leaves. Jenny B

    • Casey B says:

      Thank you, Jenny. I am very sorry for your loss. I appreciate your taking the time to write.

      Wishing you peace and strength at this difficult time,


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