Another Fifth Anniversary Story

by Diane
(Tamworth, NSW, Australia)

My grief journey must be one of the slowest in history!

I'd like to start with a comment from the website, "each person’s experience is different given the nature of the loss and their own life circumstances."

That is so true.

The nature of my loss was my dear mother.

My life circumstances are that I never married or had children although it was my dearest wish to do so. Perhaps this is why, though, my mother and I were so close. She and my father divorced when I was very young, around five years old, at the end of the 2nd World War. I never met him until 1992 after trying to find him half of my life and he died shortly afterwards.

My mother was my rock, really. I suffer from something called Social Anxiety Disorder, and it has affected my whole life in one way or the other. I wasn't diagnosed though until this year. The counsellor said my mother's death had acted as a catalyst.

I am on my own now and 70 years old. My disorder means I find it hard to make friends, although I feel very lonely these days.

So how did reaching the five year mark affect me? I have never spent a day without thinking of her and especially the night time when the house is empty and I am alone with my thoughts. It is often a very painful time for me and sometimes I feel very hopeless, as if life has slipped by me somehow. I now look at babies and little children in the street and wish one of them was mine. I never felt that before. I was a busy person, working in a busy job, and I accepted that I did not have children, was even quite content about it. Then, all of a sudden, my world drops from under me and I am faced with the question, well, what have you achieved in your lifetime? Is it almost over now I'm 70 when I felt like a young girl always when mum was around. She passed away when I was 65 (yes, I felt young then, too) and it was always Diane and Mum, the two of us. Now, it's only Diane and somehow a much lesser figure somehow.

So the five year anniversary? I could feel it coming nearer, the feelings of pain intensifying, and then when I stood in front of her grave with my flowers and talked to her, I felt much better, calmer and more oh, well, I've got to be strong and get on with life. But then the emptiness returns when I reach home and it takes a monumental effort to overcome it.

I know I have to live around the pain. I have tried so hard to find a way to do this. I am a work in progress! Thank you for allowing me to add my story.

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May 19, 2011
Another Fifth Anniversary Story
by: Janelle

Diane,

Thank you for sharing your fifth anniversary story with us. I can relate to the ups and downs you share--how you physically feel the anniversary coming, how you find peace standing at the grave site talking to your mother, and then feeling emptiness again when you go home.

As I read your story about being calmed talking to your mother, I was reminded of a story George Bonanno tells of a man who spent time just sitting and reliving the memories of his wife after her death. I wondered if you were able to do this at home and bring some of that peace into your house. You can see a short article about it at The Management of Grief.

My thoughts are with you. I'm glad you have found the site helpful. Thanks again for sharing. Keep in touch.

Janelle

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