Saturday, February 22, 2014

When Little Birds Chirp: Anniversary Notes

Every year as March approaches, a little bird chirps in my thoughts:  send D. an anniversary note. 

I go to my stationery box and select a simple card-- I favor small note cards, and set it out. In a few days, I'll sit down with it. I know it has been a long time-- over 10 years now, since her daughter was the victim of a drunk driver. I don't really keep count of the years, though I commented with surprise when I checked, and it was the 10-year anniversary. I remember writing:
My how the world has changed in the 10 years since A's death! What do you think she would say about it?"

Isn't an anniversary note a painful reminder?

It is easy to assume that you are "pouring salt in a wound," but you are not. The feedback I get from my own notes, and from discussing anniversary notes with others who receive them is appreciative:
"Thank you so much for remembering my A."
"That person [the note writer] is gold." 
 "My husband will always be in my heart, why wouldn't I want someone else to remember him, too?"

 I already said 'I'm sorry', so what do I write a year later?

If you want to say you are sorry, again, go ahead. An anniversary note should not be a philosophical overview of what happened, a one-year wrap up, a dismissal, or a newsy season's greetings letter!
  1. Have you wondered how the person you are writing to is weathering life-- perhaps you know of specific goals or challenges. Ask the question.
  2. Have you been reminded of the deceased while doing a task, reading a book, cooking a meal?  Share that moment.
  3. Have you felt sad or mad, inspired or delighted during the year, while thinking of the deceased? Declare your emotion.

Has this post reminded you of an upcoming anniversary? 

Begin your note, today, and thank you for caring!

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