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June 16, 2008


Today Wendy

I'm so sorry about your mom, she sounds like a wonderful person to have as a mother.

I absolutely love your idea of doing something as a family to celebrate your mother's life. The other advantage is that if you start planning it a little bit in advance, it makes it even easier for A to remember, and if you're discussing plans for the day with him...then it probably helps him figure out what it is you need from him. Creating your own little family ritual that's going to help you get through the day, and let your girls get to know about their grandmother and how special she was to you...its just beautiful.

Anne Glamore

Something that meant a lot to me, and that I now try to do for others, is to remember them NOT on the occasion of the death (I just can't remember it) but on Mother or Father's Day. My 1st mother's Day without my Mom was excruciating, so now i try to drop a card in the mail the week before MD for my friends who've lost moms, and the week before FD for those who've lost dads, just to say I know it will be a tough week and I'm thinking about you.

I just flat out remind my husband of the anniversary, but this year (year 3) I'm going to stop being slave to it and have a me day. It has taken me a while to get to this point, obviously.

My thoughts are with you...


I used to remind my husband what day it was on the anniversary of my mom's death...he didn't remember on his own. He did say something a few times, but I realized that it was something I didn't want to share with anyone...does that make sense? Anyway, for me it was a personal thing that I wanted to think about and feel sad about...alone.

I do think that running in a 5k, or participating in a walk, or doing some sort of volunteer thing every year would be a great way to remember your mom. Another one would be to plant a tree / bush / plant in your yard. You would have one for every year she has been gone.


Jewish tradition includes lighting a yahrzeit candle on the anniversary of the death. This is a special candle in a glass that will burn for 24 hours (you can even buy them at M _ _ _ _ _'s (I don't know of the name of that fabulous local wonder-store gives away more about your location than you'd like...)). I'm not a particularly observant Jew but I love this tradition (and I can't even really tell you more details about it) b/c it is this constant reminder as you walk past the candle all day long and it is poignant and sad and real when the flame goes out at the end of the day. It is a lovely, quiet tradition, even if it isn't part of your religious practice. And maybe putting "YAhrzeit candle" on the shopping list in early June would be a little reminder to A!


My dad died in April 2006. My mum threw him a birthday party in July with 50 guests, so that all the people who had last been together in sorrow, could come together in a more joyous frame of mind to laugh and celebrate David's life.

On the second anniversary of his death, my Mum, my sister and I all took the day off work. We made my dad's famous macaroni and cheese, and watched old family videos for ohurs. Again, much laughter, but also the opportunity to be sad together at the same time.

There is no right way to mark the day, you need to do what feels right to you. But I totally believe that marking the day as special is important and will especially be meaningful to your daughters as the years go by.


I lost one of my very best friends a little over three years ago to brain cancer. Every year, his fiancee and I go out for dinner on the day he died and on his birthday. We remember him, we laugh, we feel sad and we enjoy each other's company. In the fall, there's a walk to raise funds for the treatment centre at the hospital. He did the walk one year and I have done the walk ever year since he passed away, his photo pinned to my back. That first that walk after he died gave me purpose during a time that felt like it had no purpose. Now I walk to keep his memory alive and to help fund the research that one day, hopefully, fingers crossed, will find a cure.

I still miss him terribly, but honouring his memory helps take a little of the sting out and keeps him with me.

Laura K.

I can't believe it's been two years. Wow. I am glad that you have someone who remembers, that your friend offered to watch your kids for you. I'm sorry A did not remember. Hopefully next year he will, knowing how you feel about it. C doesn't really remember when the anniversary of my miscarriage with A comes around (with the exception of maybe the first year) unless I say something to him. I feel like that's a bit different because we didn't really 'know' him, get to know his personality, etc. BUT, it was the saddest day ever for me and I never forget it, so sometimes I am bothered that he doesn't acknowledge it...All this is to say that I can certainly see why you would want your spouse to acknowledge a day as sad as losing your parent.

As for death anniversaries, I actually sent a card to my ex-boyfriend's mother this year on the one-year anniversary of his death. At first I felt weird doing it, but I was thinking about her and wanted her to know. I don't know that I'll do it every year, but I wanted her to know that I was thinking about her after such a difficult year.

I love the idea about you guys all doing something your mother enjoyed as a family to honor her memory. It's a great way to relive those memories with her and to help the girls get to know her better.


My husband and I (and now our son) go away every year for the 4 days that my daughter lived and then died.

For me, going away is important - we go to an inn that feeds us, so we don't have any taxing decisions to make during that time. And because neither of us is working, we're both available to step in when the other person desperately needs to just get away and cry or whatever.

I don't know if you need that kind of time commitment, but it might not hurt.


Hey! I had emailed you I guess about a year ago. I lost my Mom December 2, 2006 to cancer. I also sat there and watched her take her last breath. You and I feel the exact same way and sound a lot alike regarding our Moms. I love reading what you write because it sounds just like the way I feel. Keep it up. Thanks a ton!!! Sherry

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