General Question

cak's avatar

Tomorrow would have been my parent's anniversary. I am truly at a loss, do I still recogonize it and acknowledge by giving mom a card?

Asked by cak (15863points) July 16th, 2009

My father died in January. To a point, none of us have yet to really say he’s truly gone. We are stumbling around it. My mom signs all of her cards to the family, “Nana and Papa.” Honestly, it’s more comforting that way, it seems odd not to have his name there.

Tomorrow is their anniversary. She’s going to be home, all day and has already said she would rather be alone, which we will respect her wishes – they frequently change. The problem is, my sister and I do not know whether to say anything, give her a card or what we should do. We don’t want it to look like we forgot, but we don’t want to hurt her, either.

Death of a loved one doesn’t come with guidelines. I feel so totally lost in what I should and should not be doing. Help!

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22 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Listen to your mom. I would call her tomorrow to double-check whether she has changed her mind. You have different needs re; your dad’s death. Do you and your sister want to spend time together? Have plan A and plan B; A means going to see her if and when she changes her mind; B is doing whatever (or nothing) that will bring you some succor.

cak's avatar

@gailcalled – Thanks. No. I don’t really have a plan B. To be truthful, I’m kind of dreading tomorrow. It’s one more day for me to really remember that he is no longer here. It’s also another day for me to really worry about my mother – and want to take her pain away.

I will call her tomorrow, to see if she has changed her mind. Again, thank you.

chyna's avatar

I send my mom flowers on their anniversary every year and my dad died 34 years ago. I would maybe wait until next year though to acknowledge it in any manner other than a phone call this year.
It is still too raw for her yet to come to terms with anniversary’s, birthdays and holidays.

cak's avatar

@chyna – That is a lovely thing to do – and yes, I do think this year is way too soon. Right now we don’t know if we will get a mom that is remembering the happy memories, completely devastated or angry. I don’t blame her one bit. I never know what face I’ll wake up to, either.

Allie's avatar

I’d give her a card or flowers. If she still acknowledges him by signing his name on cards to you, I think it’s okay for you to give her one to acknowledge a day that she and your father shared together.
Did that make sense?

marinelife's avatar

I always (for more than 30 years) call my Mom on my dad’s birthday and for the first several years, I called on their anniversary too.

I would just tell that I wanted to acknowledge what day it was, and then I would just see how she responded. It might call for just listening or for saying something.

Blondesjon's avatar

Ask her about it and follow it up with a big hug. Sometimes the elephant in the room needs to be acknowledged.

I will donate one big hug, as well, for whoever needs it

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I’d send her a “thinking of you” card, not an anniversary card.

lillycoyote's avatar

As gailcalled said, listen to your mom but maybe call her tomorrow and see how she’s doing. I would follow her lead. My parents had been married for 47 years when my mother died. They were never real big celebrators. They got each other cards and went out to dinner on their anniversary not much else. But after my mom died I didn’t acknowledge the date. I just tried to be a good ear if my father mentioned it, and he and I could usually tell if he was thinking about it. But I think you have to try to get a sense of what your mom would like. Some people would be hurt that the day goes unacknowledged and some might find it too painful to keep getting cards and flowers after the death of a spouse. I think for my dad it was the latter.

lillycoyote's avatar

@jbfletcherfan That’s a good thought. That might be the best thing.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Again, please accept my condolences on the loss of your father.

I would definitely give her a call at the very least. I’m sure she knows that if she does need for you to come by, you’ll be there at the drop of a hat.

janbb's avatar

I would call and check in with her and follow her lead from there. And here’s a hug for you, cak (( )).

OohSuzanna's avatar

I think the best thing would be to visit her (if you are able) and let her know you realize the occasion. You might even plan an outing with her, such as going out for lunch, to make the day a little more bearable. At the very least, give her a call and tell her you love her.

filmfann's avatar

Give her a card, and whatever else you would have done had your dad not passed.
He is gone, but he is obvioulsy still a big part of her life.
My mom celebrated their anniversary for 21 years after his death, when she passed.

MindStudy's avatar

I’m so sorry for your loss cak. I would call in on your mom and just follow her lead. I would even acknowledge the anniversary & maybe ask if she would like to visit his resting place?

A hug for you cak.

cak's avatar

Thank you all for the suggestions and hugs. I just talked to her, we now have plans to have lunch. She decided she doesn’t want to be alone. On the selfish side, I’m glad. It comforts me to be with her.

Again, thank you all for the suggestions.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@cak Good. It sounds like it’ll be as good of a day as it can be. I’m glad she’s going to be with you.

cookieman's avatar

Great suggestions above.

@cak: Just wanted to say best of luck tomorrow. I’ll be thinking about you.

bea2345's avatar

Call her, and visit her too.

dannyc's avatar

I would just leave it be. Mothers know you mean well. the last thing she needs is you being stressed over something that really does not matter. Think of your Dad and the fortune you all had together as a family.

janbb's avatar

@cak I’m glad you’re doing something with your Mom today. I know it will be sad, but it will be good to be together.

This is a hard year for you. The pain will linger but it does soften with time. It’s good, but hard, that you are so in touch with what you are feeling through all this.

JustmeAman's avatar

I have had many loses in life and appreciate people when they are open and speak to me about the loss. I would respect her wishes but you could ask her how she is doing and acknowledge you know about the anniversary. You don’t have to fix anything just allow her anything she needs. She may talk about it, cry or just simple say she doesn’t want to talk about it.

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