Tag Archives: Grief Anniversary

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Grief Anniversary

Grief Anniversary

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Since time does not heal when it comes to grief, it is not surprising that the Grief Anniversary of a loved one’s death can be just as painful as the day they died. For me, April 3rd marks the seven year anniversary of my former fiancé’s death. Although we were no longer together when he passed away, I can honestly say that he was my one true love. The pain of his death has been soul-wrenching and gut-stomping. Time couldn’t possibly ever heal that wound. Why would I want it to?

The first day, the first week, the first month, the first year after his death was tough. Who am I kidding – every day, every week, every month and every year has been tough. But the 3rd of every month became a recurring, in-your-face reminder that he was gone. So I decided that I had two choices about how I was going to handle it – bottle it all up inside and walk around pretending I was ok or face it head-on and let the emotions flow.

It wasn’t really even a decision for me. I automatically chose to drive myself into the grief at full throttle. I figured hitting it head on and wrestling it to the ground would give me some chance of coming out the other side. Ignoring it? Well that could lead to all kinds of problems and I certainly didn’t want to go there. I had seen others who never faced their grief and I didn’t want that anchor dragging me down for the rest of my life.

So on the 3rd (and most other days), I spent the time crying until there were no tears. I shouted at the sky. I took long walks. I went through old pictures. I read old cards and love letters. I listened to “our” songs. I remembered the good and the bad. I called his Mom and we cried together, I had a Memorial Service for him with my children up on a hill overlooking the ocean and we released a balloon to the heavens. We cried and held each other. I JUST LET IT ALL OUT. Then I let it out some more until I felt empty. The emptiness didn’t lessen the sadness or the pain but it felt better than holding it inside.

I think I also forced myself to do this because those around me didn’t know what to do.  Some avoided me. Others didn’t bring it up at all. After all he committed suicide and who wants to talk about “that” subject. If talking about grief is #1 taboo subject in America, who wants to talk about grief related to someone’s suicide? Probably taboo subject #2.  On top of that we had broken-up so add taboo subject #3.  Three topics that are tough if not impossible to discuss. So that’s pretty much what everyone did –  try not to discuss it with me. In fact there was no discussion about any of it at all. Since I knew I needed to do something (rather than avoid it), I took matters into my own hands and began my own grief journey.

Don’t get me wrong, people asked if I was ok. But in reality they hoped I didn’t start to talk about “it” at all. What were they supposed to say if I did bring it up? At least you weren’t in a relationship anymore? Nope – probably not the right response. At least you weren’t there with him when he did “it”? Nope – definitely not the right response. Neither of those comments would have helped me face my broken heart.  Ironically, talking about how I felt about his death would have helped me heal. I learned after becoming a Certified Grief Recovery Specialists®  what I went through with friends and family was pretty typical. It’s how we have all been brought up. As a society, we need to break the cycle of how we address (or don’t address) grieving throughout many generations.

My recommendation is to do what is right for you on a Grief Anniversary. That could mean acknowledging it or not. Whatever you do is completely healthy. Remember your loved one. Be sad. Laugh. Cry. Watch their favorite movie. Eat their favorite food. Do what makes it right for you. Make sure you surround yourself with people that understand what you need – not what they think you should or shouldn’t be doing. Let the day come.

So on this 7-Year Grief Anniversary, I want this day to be about him and the joy he brought to my life. The laughter. The great memories. The soul-embracing love. Pizza and margaritas. Hawaiian sunsets. Las Vegas fun. The U.S. Open in New York. Boat rides on Lake Anna. Crawling out a window to shovel snow on the deck. The “Aflac” duck commercials. John Wayne. The Beach Boys. I will look out on the hill overlooking the ocean. I will listen to one of “our” songs. I will share his favorite poem (and one of mine):

Sea Fever

By John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

Please respect a Griever’s need for this day. We need it to remember. We need it to heal.


Sending you love, comfort and peace!

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Grief Diaries: Hello From Heaven

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Released on July 12 2016, Grief Reiki® is a proud contributor to Grief Diaries: Hello From Heaven.

Fascinating true stories about after-death communication and the power of love. Grief Diaries creator Lynda Cheldelin Fell dreamed of her daughter’s death two years before it happened. When the nightmare came true in 2009, she watched her deceased grandmother guide her daughter safely to heaven. Despite the shock of her tragic loss, Lynda’s experience brought tremendous comfort to her broken heart.

But her incident is far from unique. Bonnie’s deceased father smiled and winked at her before disappearing behind a building. Mary saw her deceased mother’s eyes in the face of a stranger. The morning after Sharon released a single balloon in memory of her former fiancé, she woke to a voice in her ear saying, “I got my balloon.” Christine’s dead in-laws appeared in her bedroom, and stayed for an hour.

Part of the Grief Diaries series exploring life experiences, Grief Diaries: Hello From Heaven features true stories about the natural phenomena known as after-death communication. Narrated by writers from all walks of life, each story offers a fascinating glimpse into the possibility that there is more to life . . . and death . . . than meets the eye.


“A GEM … In Grief Diaries, the stories are not only moving but often provide a rich background for anyone to find a gem of insight that can be used in coping with loss. Reread each story with pen in hand and you will find many that are just right for you.” – DR. LOUIS LaGRAND, LOVE LIVES ON

Hello From Heaven on Amazon


Sending you love, comfort and peace!


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How To Help The Newly Bereaved

Grief Diaries: How To Help The Newly Bereaved

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Released in April 2016, Grief Reiki® is a proud contributor to Grief Diaries: How to Help the Newly Bereaved

When someone loses a loved one, what do you say? What can you do? How to Help the Newly Bereaved is a powerful guidebook of suggestions and tips by 22 experts, the bereaved themselves, who share the support they found most and least helpful when they faced their own loss. Chock full of thoughtful insight and wise advice, How to Help the Newly Bereaved offers straight talk to increase your confidence and comfort around the bereaved and arm you with a toolbox of forget-me-nots and insight as you support someone during the most difficult time in their life.

Every day those of us who work in the bereavement field hear, “Neighbor Betty lost a loved one. What can I do? What do I say?” Those two questions seem so simple, but the answers are very complex. And here is why: losing a loved one is a heartbreak unlike any other experience. There is no guidebook, there are no roadmaps. And to further complicate matters, no two losses are the same. Which makes it a very difficult language to teach on any level.

A universal experience as old as mankind, the journey remains a great mystery to those who haven’t yet walked in our shoes. In a day when technology is rapidly changing, you would think we would be better prepared. But we’re not. It remains uncomfortable to discuss death and loss in many cultures. People of all ages fear their own mortality. Which leaves them ill equipped to help someone else.

Until now. How to Help the Newly Bereaved is a guidebook on how to help the newly bereaved. But because every loss is as unique as one’s fingerprint, this book is created using the perspectives of twenty-two individuals who have been down that road. Who better to tell youwhat to do, what to say, than the experts themselves? Besides offering suggestions, we help you understand our journey. Why do we cry one minute and laugh the next? What brings us comfort? What do we fear?


“BRILLIANT . . . How to Help the Newly Bereaved is a critically important collection of tips and suggestions written by the best of experts, the bereaved themselves. Who better to instruct family and friends on how to be helpful in the aftermath? Just brilliant.” -MARY LEE ROBINSON, Certified Grief Coach, Author, and Founder of Set an Extra Plate initiative

“An Excellent And Much Needed Book With Great Advice….This is not only excellent advice for how to help the newly bereaved, it also indirectly helps people know what to expect in the future when they are the ones who are bereaved. I sure wish this book had been available when my youngest sister died in 2012. It would have helped immensely. I also wish that everyone who said something that upset the other members of the online support groups that I am in would have had this book as well. As maybe some of that upset could have been avoided. I cannot possibly convey how much this book is needed!” -AMAZON REVIEWER

How to Help the Newly Bereaved on Amazon


Sending you love, comfort and peace!



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