Dealing With Grief: Anniversaries...

Anniversaries can be a time of mixed emotions, especially when they coincide with grief and loss. In this heartfelt reflection, Diane Carbo explores the challenges and joys of remembering loved ones and how to navigate the difficult emotions that come with it.

Dealing With Grief: Anniversaries...
Anniversary echoes of sorrow.

Some months hold significant moments in a person's or family's life, marked by birthdays, special anniversaries, and holidays. These periods can evoke mixed feelings, combining both joy and sorrow. For me, the month of May is particularly challenging, filled with memories of both happiness and grief.

Early in May, around Mother's Day, is my parents' wedding anniversary. Traditionally, my siblings and I gave our mom a corsage with three roses for her anniversary. Even after our father passed away, we continued this tradition until one year when she expressed a desire for a bouquet on Mother's Day instead. This change had nothing to do with her enduring love for my father, who had passed away 36 years before her. Their love set a strong example for all of us.

Ironically, I became engaged on my parents' 27th wedding anniversary over 45 years ago. The surprise arrival of my twin uncles, Bob and John, also adds a touch of humor to May's memories. Their unique tastes and penchant for making the other follow suit made birthdays a delightful challenge. Despite their differences, they were generous and caring individuals.

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    May is also a time for graduations and commencements, marked by excitement and uncertainty for graduates and the endurance test of sitting on hard stadium seats for relatives. I vividly recall the exhaustion my aunt experienced sitting through my high school graduation, with almost 900 students, and my husband and older sibling's class with over 1100 students.

    Four years ago, on a beautiful May evening in east Texas, I witnessed a proud father handing his son the Valedictorian, his diploma. This year, I look forward to watching his equally accomplished younger sister receive her high school diploma from their loving father. It's been six years since my mother's passing, a difficult time marked by pain management and the inevitable farewell.

    In her final moments, I witnessed my mother reaching up as if to embrace someone unseen, someone she loved. Staying by her side was our way of expressing love. Those who were there for us in life remain in our memories.

    This year, the alignment of the days of the week with the dates of my mother's passing serves as a poignant reminder of those challenging weeks. I reflect on the tears but also the love she had for her family, extended family, charity work, church, and God.

    If I can embody even a fraction of my mother's love, I'll be a better person. In the end, love is what endures, shaping our relationships and making everything else bearable and worthwhile, including caregiving.

    Grieving the loss of a mother

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