Author Topic: Death Anniversary issue  (Read 2089 times)

Patty

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Death Anniversary issue
« on: September 29, 2016, 06:48:30 AM »
Need advice.  My husband has been gone 3 years now.  I'm in my first relationship and his birthday is the day my husband passed away.  He seems concerned about this. He wonders how this will affect us every year.  Any ideas how to celebrate or not celebrate?

Trying

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Re: Death Anniversary issue
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2016, 07:33:20 AM »
What an awful coincidence.  I can understand the concern definitely, those anniversary dates are tainted with a sadness that is hard to avoid.  My gut reaction is that we need to celebrate the living and appreciate those who are with us.  That being said, I don't think you can avoid the anniversary.  Maybe you can find a way to honor your DH on that day in a way that is significant to you but make the remainder of the day a focus on NG.  Personally for my dad and DH I prefer to honor them on their birthday because that is a more positive day to remember.  If you know that you have DH's birthday to really celebrate his memory then maybe you can feel less conflicted about sharing his death anniversary with NGs birthday.

These chapter 2 relationships are a balancing act at times, good luck in finding a balance that works for both of you.
You will forever be my always.

Portside

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Re: Death Anniversary issue
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2016, 08:19:27 AM »
What does NG want/not want you to do for him? If you follow his wishes he will see that his birthday is all about him - just as your birthday should be all about you.

What is your take on all of this?

Good luck - Mike



The war is over for me now. But those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.

Mizpah

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Re: Death Anniversary issue
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2016, 08:53:16 AM »
Oh gosh, that's intense.  In a slightly different way, I can relate: my anniversary with DH is the same as the anniversary of the day NG and I met, just separated by some years.  It's different, like I said, but I can relate to a feeling divided. 

I agree with Portside in asking you: what are YOUR feelings on this?  It's so individual.  For example, at about five years out, the death date doesn't affect me the way I thought it would.  That being said, it's by design to an extent - as soon as he was gone, I knew I didn't want to associate him with death, that I wanted to think of him and smile and think of him for who he was, not the ended-too-soon nature of his life.  Because of that attitude, strangely, even though it's about celebrating him, DH's birthday is often harder for me - because he should be celebrating life and more and more birthdays, perhaps, I don't know.  (I do nothing out of the ordinary on the death day.  I try to insult the day by not giving it any power (except the first year, when I "celebrated" having survived a year of something so unbearable).)

Do you and NG live together?  If not, will there be any part of that day you will be apart, that you can use for you? 

What a strange coincidence. 
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

Patty

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Re: Death Anniversary issue
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2016, 09:28:58 AM »
DH passed away from a tragic drowning accident. He saved someones' life in the process. It was a terrible day and the anniversary is always terrible for me. I agree with Mizpah. I would rather celebrate DH birthday and forget about giving power to the anniversary. Ironically, NG birthday was Tuesday. We celebrated last weekend with a wonderful night out. I felt it better to separate the days. This being our 'first' time going thru this. We have been together only 3 months. We do not live together. Tuesday was spent partly with him and I pushed everything aside trying to forget the day, until that evening I gave in and lost it. He knew when he called me that evening I has having a hard time. He is very sensitive to this and his concern is, how do we deal with this next year, and the year after? I don't know what to tell him?

Portside

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Re: Death Anniversary issue
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2016, 09:47:51 AM »
He is very sensitive to this and his concern is, how do we deal with this next year, and the year after? I don't know what to tell him?

Okay, I think I get it better now. Well, I understand his concern. Most guys I know would view this as competing with a deceased spouse. Which, to those guys, is a no win situation. Now I know there are women here whose NGs are okay with the deceased spouse being remembered in some fashion and at various levels. That's wonderful - but it's not for everyone.

Maybe ask NG directly - "what are you comfortable with?" "what are you feeling about it?". You said he is 'sensitive' to the situation. What does that mean exactly? Did he explain that to you?

Lots of conversation is needed here. Dig deeply. You both will need to fully examine what you each are feeling and get it out into the open. Only then will be you be able to come to an agreement as to what will be the path forward.

Good luck - Mike
The war is over for me now. But those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.

Catnip

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Re: Death Anniversary issue
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2016, 09:53:33 AM »
Don't you hate stuff like this? I'm sorry.

I'm not so sure this should be a concern that he needs an answer right now. Will you still even be together next year? This is a date that will never change. It will always be the date of his death, and next year it will be year number 4 for you. And, next year, he will be one year older! Will it be a big birthday for him that ends in a zero? How will he deal with that?

Maybe you could be a little secretive and mysterious. Tell him, "I guess you will have to wait and see next year!"
You left and forgot to tell my heart how to live without you.

Mizpah

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Re: Death Anniversary issue
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2016, 09:55:18 AM »
You said he is 'sensitive' to the situation. What does that mean exactly? Did he explain that to you?

Agree again - sensitive to your feelings, or sensitive to a feeling of "competing" or feeling threatened/uncomfortable? 

I think in most situations with new people post-death, the key is a balance between being open and being ABLE to be open with them about feelings about our lost loves and their deaths, on the one hand, and on the other hand, making them know, by the way we communicate about it all and how we treat them and the memory of our lost love, that they are NOT competing, that feelings about DH/DW do not take away from feelings about them.... 

But that's just my take.  From someone who (is a widow but also who) has in the past with my current boyfriend (a widower) been made to feel sensitive to a feeling of competing or feeling not as loved as or not as good as DW. 
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

Patty

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Re: Death Anniversary issue
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2016, 10:12:39 AM »
Mike,

NG isn't sure what he wants. How to deal with this when it happens. He does say he is not competing in anyway, he knows he can't. He is not at all feeling he has to. Just unsure what we will do when it comes to birthday next year. His birthday was just two days ago. We celebrated over the weekend with a wonderful evening out. The actual day was Tuesday. I kept it lighthearted as I could. Seeing him briefly. I fell apart that evening after trying to push it out of my head all day. He called me in the middle of my breakdown, realizing what was happening. I didn't want to talk. I needed to go through it alone. He understood. The next day is when he expressed the concern. Again, I love the idea of not giving the day power. I too, think it's best to look at the day as a day of 'I made it through another year'. Thank you for that!

SemperFidelis

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Re: Death Anniversary issue
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2016, 10:42:32 AM »
Blah. Odd predicament.

As far as what to do next year..... How can you possibly know?  I mean planning is great but there is only so much of that you can do and eventually you just have to ride the wave the best you can.
I'm also a little iffy about all the responsibility for it being laid on you you as if it's your fault. If I was him I would be offering to celebrate my birthday on another day. But that's just me....I am also one of those people who doesn't give two rips about my birthday or anyone else's. So we wind up back at the fact that this is pretty individual.

serpico

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Re: Death Anniversary issue
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2016, 10:49:29 AM »
I get this from his perspective.  My new wife recently saw my late wife's headstone for the first time and was very uneasy about it because it has a picture of our family on it.  I don't see the big deal but she does, so I think it's important for me to be respectful of her feelings.  My only suggestion is to keep talking so he knows you are listening.
'I think I got some of your pickle'

MrsDan

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Re: Death Anniversary issue
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2016, 03:44:20 PM »
I agree it must be tricky, and validate that you are in a crummy position. But honestly? I really don't get the whole birthday thing once you're an adult. I mean, I think of it as a thing for kids. I stopped observing my birthday completely when Dan died. Recently my boyfriend brought up my birthday, that some might consider it a milestone (40). I told him I don't observe. Later I thought about it and realized he wants to do something for me, so I should not deny him that. But honestly I do not get adults making a big deal out of their own birthdays. I get wanting to make a big deal out of other people's; I don't care about my own, but am enjoying planning for his. I think frankly, (and this is through the lens of being widowed at a young age with a baby) it's sort of petty to get worked up about your own birthday. 

« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 03:51:04 PM by MrsDan »
You are the Bear of my heart dear,
And nothing can take that away.

Sugarbell

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Re: Death Anniversary issue
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2016, 08:58:58 PM »
I agree MrsD and was thinking the same thing.

But I am not a birthday person per se once you become a full fledge adult (past 21).

He's really overthinking and maybe being a bit presumptuous already.
My sons birthday is on his Dad's Death Day...He's 12 and handles it quite well all things considered.
B.W.H. 9/24/2007

tybec

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Re: Death Anniversary issue
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2016, 09:16:12 PM »
Well, birthdays and celebrations are such an individual thing, family tradition.  My DH survived cancer at age 34.  Soooooo, we celebrated life and birthdays were a great reason to do so. We had birthday weeks. Kinda a silly thing, but given we had gotten past cancer (oh, my dad's Alzheimer disease worsened to the point he was in a nursing home for 5 years at the same time), we did choose to have JOY.  Life celebrations, anniversaries, etc.  Any excuse to do something special, we would. Usually a trip somewhere.  Not parties like they show on tv for adults but are over the top. Our day to day lives, work, school, careers, etc seem to get in the way of enjoying life.  Just busy crap that doesn't mean anything in the long run...I know, I am preaching to the choir.

So, maybe NG has traditions, too.  IDK.. .  You two have to figure that out and talking it out is best, and you have a yr. to figure it out.  You will.  Good luck!

SemperFidelis

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Re: Death Anniversary issue
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2016, 11:18:02 PM »
I agree it must be tricky, and validate that you are in a crummy position. But honestly? I really don't get the whole birthday thing once you're an adult. I mean, I think of it as a thing for kids. I stopped observing my birthday completely when Dan died. Recently my boyfriend brought up my birthday, that some might consider it a milestone (40). I told him I don't observe. Later I thought about it and realized he wants to do something for me, so I should not deny him that. But honestly I do not get adults making a big deal out of their own birthdays. I get wanting to make a big deal out of other people's; I don't care about my own, but am enjoying planning for his. I think frankly, (and this is through the lens of being widowed at a young age with a baby) it's sort of petty to get worked up about your own birthday.

You took the words outta my mouth.
To me it just seems like it anyone is to put the "noteworthy" day aside for the greater good of another person, it's this guy. Let the mourners mourn on their day (or do whatever they do to honor the life of the dead).