Anniversaries – coping with the hard ones

Anniversaries – coping with the hard ones

Well of course I’m nine months pregnant on the anniversary of my Dad’s death this year.

I am learning to embrace these little intricacies and coincidences in my colourful life, knowing that things do (seem to) happen for a reason.

When I thought they might schedule a planned c section for me I had this feeling

that the date would be Dad’s anniversary (April 19th) and I felt surprisingly calm about that.

I did use fickle language in response to my Mum asking how I would feel if this would be the case stating,

 “I think it would be quite nice. I guess it wouldn’t be ideal if the baby or I died. Well, it wouldn’t be good for you..”

Sometimes I really need to check myself. Insensitive and not really funny is how one could describe such a statement.

This post isn’t intended to be sad or filled with self pity.

However I do have to confess that I find Dad’s anniversary harder than his birthday (which I forget the date of every year. It’s early July sometime, the 5th maybe?… The down side of your parent dying when you were too young to remember dates) or Fathers day.

Perhaps this is because he died a week to the day before my eighth birthday.

My memories are faint and now almost forced but there is a little notion in my head that he promised he would acquire a wheelchair and take me to the Wimpy for my party. Do you remember Wimpy!? It was the craze in Northern Ireland before Ronald McDonald and someone dressed in Mr wimpy costume for your party. Great craic.

Anyway it’s perhaps for this reason that I feel the lowest around his anniversary.

Although my memories are getting weaker as I grow older there are definite visuals like my Mum remaining upbeat during my birthday party ( we didn’t do Wimpy that year although I imagine I demanded one, being the little brat that I was) four days after she buried her husband.

Also I remember the faces of the people who left gifts.

Like the minster of our church and his wife leaving me a skipping rope and me asking to have my photo taken with it.

A time that must have crushed my Mum to the very core as her heart ached.

This year, this month, I am also aware that my eldest boy is now a seven year old. He is still so small and so naive with a lifetime ahead of him.

My husband and I are engaged eleven years on April 23rd, which is just one year shy of what mum and dad had in married years together. I feel a snippet of anger that she was robbed of the years subsequent to Dad’s death. It feels like Michael and I are only starting our journey as a married couple.

But she (Mum) would be the first to tell me that dwelling on such a “what-could-have-been” daydream achieves nothing but further hurt.

So what is my point in all of this?

Mostly to say that if you are like me and find the actual anniversary of your loved ones death that bit more of a pinch than any other time in the year, you are not alone.

Of course I speak in this post of how I cry at the small things too- have I shared how many times the Denny sausage ad makes me weep?! The music (it’s Foy Vance who I do love after all), the movement, the babes and family- sets me right off craving for my Dad’s presence.

Pain is a chance to remember we are well and truly alive.

Whether it crushes  us or drives us forward. It happens and we can ride the wave, take stock and keep trudging.

So, the date is here, my babe is not yet in my arms and I will probably always find this time emotional.

And thats’ ok.

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