I know some of you are very early in your journey, and I'm so sorry you have had to start down this path at all. I wish I could help make it easier. Some others of us are a little further along and have experienced anniversary dates. They are tough. I just had Gabriel's 7th anniversary on Sunday. And yes, it sucked.
I kept giving myself advice. Do you ever do that? Hear little voices in your head telling you what to do? I think: "If someone had posted this question on a message board, what advice would I give them?" Because I am so chock full of advice when it comes to message boards. Ask me anything about parenting, health, school situations or life and I'm glad to tell you what to do. But when it comes to actually doing it myself or giving myself that same advice that it gets tougher.
I kept giving myself advice I might tell someone else about surviving an anniversary date. Here are some of my little gems:
The days or weeks leading up to the date are harder than the day itself. This is usually true for me. Sunday was pretty ok until I hit about 1:00 and then I just crashed. I ended up in my backyard hammock for 3 solid hours just sleeping and watching the birds fly around down in the swampy area behind my house
Don't make a lot of plans until you see how you feel that day. Give yourself permission to stay in bed or in the house if you don't feel like going out. Yes, yes, I did this. But also I knew that I wanted to go to the cemetary and have cookies with my family and let a balloon go, so I had to force myself out of the house at some point. I usually make my husband take the day off of work, but he didn't need to do that this year because it was Sunday.
Do a random act of kindness for someone else in memory of your child. I had done this throughout the month of May. Whenever I started feeling kind of sad or freaked out I did something for someone else
Make some kind of tangible memento to put in Gabriel's scrapbook In the past this has included taking a photo of the sky on Gabriel's day and also writing a letter to him. I try to do a scrapbook page each year to continue to add to his scrapbook
I'd love to hear what you have done on anniversary dates. Thanks so much for sharing with us what helps.