Home » One Way To Spend The Anniversary Of A Loved One’s Death

One Way To Spend The Anniversary Of A Loved One’s Death

There are many ways to deal with the passing of a loved one and there are also many ways to deal with each of the “firsts” that occur after that, as well as the anniversary of their death. Last week was the one year mark since my mother passed away from pancreatic cancer. She was my best friend, a great mother, and an amazing teacher in life.

Leading up to the day of the one-year mark, I had no idea how I would react. I had some anxiety. I knew a few of the things I would do (such as buying some Sam Adams and toasting to her memory as that was her favorite beer) on that day but I had no idea what my mindset would be, how my emotions would affect me.

When the day came, I chose to remember the good things. Not only that, I chose to share some of the great lessons she taught me with the world (I did this via Twitter and Facebook). As I went through my day I found myself smiling as I thought of these lessons, as I shared them, expanded on them, and saw how others reacted to them. Honestly, I enjoyed sharing these great things. This could have been an absolutely terrible day but I enjoyed it as I was able to carry on my mother’s great love and teachings with us all.

Below is what I ended up telling the world on Twitter and Facebook. I carry these lessons with me daily and hope to carry on the legacy of a great woman.

  1. Chia Mom Lesson 1: Laugh. Laugh often. Laugh with your friends. Laugh AT yourself – See that woman in the picture with me? She’s laughing, even though she was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Not only could she make a crappy situation better, but also keep you grounded as she taught me to learn at the stupid stuff I’ve done (ok, I’ve never really done anything stupid…I’m an angel *smirk*). This is by far the best lesson she taught me.
  2. Chia Mom Lesson 2: Appreciate what you DO have and don’t pine over what you DON’T have – We never were rich but wow could we have fun with what we had. Mostly, it was each other. I could sit here and complain about not having my mom right now but what I DO have is a lot of memories, decades of love from her, GREAT lessons from her, great friends and great family, a beautiful day outside. Thanks Mom.
  3. Chia Mom Lesson 3: Be yourself…and be happy with who you are – It’s not always easy to be yourself. Someone will always have something to say like “you’re a nerd” or “such a jock” or “be serious”. Embrace your geeky side, your football watching side, your goofy side…it makes you who you are. Be happy with it and you’ll see people will gravitate to the happy soul you’ve become.
  4. Chia Mom Lesson 4: Stay young, stay curious. – My mom may have been the youngest 57 year old you knew (obviously a trait passed down from her mom, the youngest 75 year old I knew). Keep that child-like curiousity in life…you never know what you’ll discover. One thing’s for sure, you’ll have a hell of a lot more fun living this way!
  5. Chia Mom Lesson 5: Keep a positive outlook on life. – Keep a positive outlook on life and good things will happen. Yeah, sh*t happens…deal with it, move on, and enjoy all the good stuff life has to offer. When you expect the best, you get the best.

As I said earlier…there are many ways to spend the anniversary of a loved one’s death. One can mourn, one can try to avoid it, one can distract themselves, the options are infinite and there is no perfect way to do it as we are all different. What works for one person may not work for another. There are plenty of books and experts out there to help, but I’ve found that being honest with myself and listening to friends and family that really know me works best.

I sympathize to anyone that has lost a loved one. I hope that this helps…as it has helped me tremendously. I’ll definitely be doing this again each year as a reminder of how great my mother was and how she shaped me into who I am today.