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10 Ideas for How to Acknowledge the Anniversary of a Death


Grief never completely leaves us. When someone we love passes away, that feeling of loss can stay with us forever. It can become especially prevalent during the anniversary of a Loved One’s death.


Whether one year, five, or fifty, the anniversary of a Loved One passing away can be difficult. However, there are ways that we can acknowledge the significance of the date that allow us to continue to feel close to their spirit while finding comfort in their memory.


Visit Your Loved One’s Grave

One way to feel close to your Loved One on their death anniversary is to visit their grave. Taking some time to be present at their final resting place will help you to connect with them. Some mourners even choose to leave their fingerprint on the headstone so that their Loved One can keep a part of their love with them, always.


Plant a Tree or Flowers

Pick up your Loved One’s favorite variety of tree or flower from a local garden center, then have a small ceremony as you place it in your yard. As it grows, you’ll be reminded of the bond you share, and the love that continues to live on.


Get Together with Family and Friends

You don’t have to be alone in your grief, especially on heavy days like those around the time of the anniversary of a Loved One’s death. Reach out to other people who miss them and organize a gathering where you can all share stories and memories. Meet at someone’s house for a potluck meal or even go bowling at the alley where your Loved One spent every Wednesday evening.


Donate to Your Loved One’s Favorite Charity

A meaningful way to help your Loved One’s legacy to live on is by giving your time or resources to his or her favorite charity. You can even host a donation drive where you ask other people to give in their memory, which can help to multiply the positive impact inspired by your Loved One.


Visit Your Loved One’s Favorite Park

Another way to feel close to your Loved One on the anniversary of their passing is to visit a place they liked to go to frequently, like a favorite park. Hike their favorite trail, kayak in their favorite lake, or simply sit at their favorite bench. An afternoon spent thinking about them in such a special place can help you find comfort and peace.


Personalize a Memorial Keepsake

One of the hardest parts about losing a Loved One is not having them physically near you. Start to feel a little closer to them again by personalizing a memorial Keepsake or piece of Jewelry with their fingerprint. As you see and touch the unique, tangible lines and grooves of their print, you’ll know that they are still with you.


Write a Letter to Your Loved One

As you grieve, you’re likely to think of things you wish you could say to your Loved One. On the anniversary of their death, take a little quiet time to write them a letter full of the stories you’d like to share. You can keep the letter in a special place in your home and add others to it in the years to come.


Look Through Old Photos of You Two Together

Looking looking through old family photos of your Loved One can help you feel better as you grieve. While you flip through the memories, you’ll be reminded of the way they smiled, the color of their eyes, and the brightness they brought to the lives of everyone around them.


Create a Piece of Art That Reminds You of Them

Art is a wonderful tool when it comes to processing grief. It can help you express yourself when your emotions feel overwhelming. When facing the death anniversary of a Loved One, you can channel your grief into whatever art form feels right to you. Consider painting a picture of them with you or writing a song about the things that remind you of them. There are no rules when it comes to your art—just give yourself the grace and freedom to create what’s in your heart.


Take a Trip to a City They Loved

If your Loved One was someone who enjoyed travelling, consider taking a trip to a city or destination that they loved visiting. Get to know your Loved One all over again by walking the same streets they did or eating at the same restaurants where they ate at. This trip away can help you heal and navigate your grief while honoring the life of your Loved One.


Please accept our sincerest sympathies for your loss. We hope that you can continue to feel close to your Loved One and the memories you shared each and every day.