Chapter 1: Triggers of grief

Special events and days

I've been there
Lynn shares how her family approached Christmas without her Dad.(3:22)Video transcript
Alvin shares how he made sense of grief triggers.(3:22)Video transcript

I thought his birthday was going to be the hardest, but the most difficult time is the anniversary of his death. In the weeks leading up to it, I was remembering all the turning points in his illness. I replayed the day he was hospitalized, the day he stopped talking, and the day the doctor told me the cancer had spread again.

There may be certain days or events that are difficult to get through such as an anniversary or holiday. If you find yourself replaying memories of the illness or death, recognize that this is a natural process as you try to come to terms with what has happened.

The days before an event are often harder than the event itself. While the anniversary of a death will likely not be easy, the weeks leading up to it may be filled with more worry and anxiety.

Many grieving people find the December holidays to be especially difficult. Instead of overworking yourself making a traditional family meal, it is okay to go to a restaurant or order a pizza and make the best of it.

Think about how to make the day easier for yourself. Create options by getting help from friends and family.