Should I Still Remember the Anniversaries?

Expert Author Susan Leigh

Anniversaries are often times of celebration. People throw parties, exchange cards and gifts, may make speeches and jokes. But not all anniversaries have good feelings attached. For some people they are poignant and emotional times. And it can feel very difficult and almost disrespectful to consider a time when the date will not feel especially painful, sentimental or nostalgic.

Significant anniversaries can be a time to remember someone who is no longer with us. Whether it be a child, a parent, a colleague or a friend, the impact that this person has had on our life can be very special. Taking time to reflect on that and the significance that their loss has had on us and our life can feel respectful and important. Some people chose to mark a special loss by having a private meal with family or close friends. Other people prefer to do something on a larger scale like having a charity event in the person’s honour, maybe a sporting trophy or an annual school cup named after them.

The anniversary of the loss of a relationship can be a time to note how much we have changed, how far we have come since the ending of that togetherness. We may have used the situation as an opportunity to change our job, our look, our life completely. That catalyst can have started an important chain of events that revolutionised our life onto a very different path.

When a career or livelihood has ended that can be a momentous time. Immediate considerations are often money and financial security. Some people may use this as a time to re-train and do something that they have always wanted to do. There can be a ‘now or never’ attitude, because they know that once they find another position the security that it offers may shield them from the courage to branch out on their own.

Sometimes a significant anniversary can be about the time something dreadful happened to change ones life forever, like an accident, attack or the loss of ones health. The recovery process can take years and even then may be only partially successful. Learning to heal enough to embrace some quality of life may be a tough call, but at some point being able to achieve partial quality of life is a result. Bitterness, regrets and anger only serve to prolong the healing process.

Using anniversaries as a marker can be a beneficial way to measure how far you have come from one year to the next. It can be all to easy to not really be aware of what has been achieved over the previous 365 days, the months can pass by so quickly. Keeping a note of where you were one year and comparing it to the next can provide motivation, pride and a sense of achievement to encourage more from the coming year ahead.

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