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I'm Grieving One Birthday, Anniversary and Holiday at a Time

08/24/2015 05:38 EDT | Updated 08/24/2016 05:59 EDT
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Three months ago, my love died. Today is our seventh wedding anniversary.

I am miserable.

A wicked cold and cough has forced me to rest.

Funny thing though: I am strangely grateful for my physical misery. It distracts me from any emotional misery presently laying low in my soul.

But even between my own hacks, sniffles and snorts, the sads squeeze in.

I miss my love. He should be here. If nothing else, to bring me tea, rub my back and indulge me in my little pity party.

For the bereaved, marking milestones -- birthdays, anniversaries and holidays -- is a dread-filled exercise. In my short experience as a widow, the anticipation is often worse than the reality.

Distraction and over compensation has been a great (if not especially healthy) strategy for me. If I can't face the pain of loss at the moment, why not flip the script. Unsolicited advice to my fellow grievers: Whatever you did in the past to celebrate special days with your beloved, is off limits, at least for the first year.

For now, that's the road I'm taking.

Case in point: My son's fifth birthday at the beginning of August was on track to be a crazy blow out, something we hadn't done in the past. Twenty guests were invited, a custom-made Scooby Do cake was ordered and a bouncy castle was in the works. A storm blew in and the big bash was cancelled. We scaled it way down, little man still got loads of gifts and declared it 'an awesome day.'

So as I mark the third month without Mike on a day that would have been our seventh wedding anniversary, I am going in a new direction -- straight back to bed to take care of my tired body.

It's all good. I'm literally pulling the covers over my head, but it's exactly what I need.

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