It’s hard to believe it’s been this long, but 8 years ago this week I lost my father to cancer. What’s even harder for me to believe is how far I’ve come in my grieving process. When he first died, I couldn’t think past all the pain, tears and heartache I felt at the moment. Now, eight years later, I still have pain, yes, but less intensified.
Knowing this first week in March is coming starts for me in the middle of February. I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach, dread that “the day” is coming. Every time I write the date I know this week is getting closer and closer. I get more tearful, emotionally fragile and I miss my dad.
Now, 8 years later, I know I’m going to be ok when this week hits. But, for the 1-Year anniversary of his death? I was a mess! I took the day off work, didn’t get out of my pajamas and allowed myself to cry and grieve. I needed to get past that “first”, and then all would be better.
Anyone who has lost a loved one, or who has lost a sense of security in a significant relationship knows what I’m talking about. Feeling a sense of grief & loss around the anniversary of when you experienced the initial loss is natural and expected. The intensity will decrease as the years pass. Will you still feel sad and tearful? Yes, you’re human. Will you still be ok? Yes.
Remember that loss can come in different packages. It doesn’t have to be death. It can be finding out about a spouses infedelity, a parent’s divorce, a miscarriage, loss of a pet, anything. Give yourself some grace and time to work through it.
Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC
*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counselingat Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.