Skipping Over An Anniversary (or Forgetting But Not Forgetting)

This past Monday was my grandparents’ anniversary. Last year, I was lucky enough to spend their anniversary with them in San Diego. It was a pretty fun trip and I had a great time celebrating with them and seeing some of my other family. And after that I got to see my grandparents a few other times┬áprior to my grandpa passing away.

Obviously, you never know when someone is going to pass away. We had no clue that my grandparents’ anniversary last year would have been the last one that they would celebrate together. And even if we did, I don’t know if we would have done anything different with our celebration.

I’ve mentioned that days that used to be celebrations for someone who has passed away have been weird for me. Some dates are harder than others. Usually dates where I remember that I don’t need to buy a card are the worst. But this is the first time that there has been an anniversary that I usually celebrate where one person has passed away. It’s one thing to not celebrate a birthday or even Father’s Day for someone who has passed away. But an anniversary where one person in the couple is still alive does seem weird to not celebrate.

I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to call my grandma for her anniversary or anything so I checked with my mom and my aunt. Both of them said that we weren’t going to celebrate it because it may have upset my grandma. We weren’t trying to forget that it was their anniversary, but we didn’t want to bring it up and make my grandma sad that my grandpa isn’t alive anymore. I think they might have also thought it is a weird thing to try to celebrate when half of the people you are celebrating are dead.

Even though I was nervous about how to celebrate my grandparents’ anniversary, it did feel weird not celebrating it. I did acknowledge it on social media by posting the photo that I took at their last anniversary.

Grandma and Grandpa

With this anniversary gone, I wonder if it will be weird again next year on their anniversary. Or how it’s going to feel at Thanksgiving when I think it will hit us all pretty hard that my grandpa isn’t there. There was a Thanksgiving years ago where my grandpa got sick and ended up in the hospital on Thanksgiving (we brought pie to the hospital after dinner). That dinner was weird enough and we all knew that he was fine and being released from the hospital the next day. What’s it going to be like when we know that he isn’t just somewhere else and we’ll see him the next day?

I guess this is all part of the grief process. I’ve had a weird time with grieving his death. Obviously I’m sad that my grandpa is gone. He’s the only grandpa I knew. But he and I have a very complicated relationship. While I’m sad I also have other conflicting feelings. But the sadness is greater because I also have the sadness I feel for other members of my family and how they are grieving.

Dealing with all these complicated feelings can be tough. I know that grief can be a long process and having these significant dates can bring up lots of feelings or make you feel like you took a step back in dealing with death. I’m just trying to focus on the positives and think about how much fun it will be at Thanksgiving this year with all of my family, even if we will be missing one family member.

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