Every year brings days of hype, festivities and celebration. While these days are a great opportunity to come together, they also surface a lot of memories shared with family and friends.
If a loved one has recently passed away, these days can trigger emotions and grief to come flooding back. Simply hearing ads promoting holidays on the radio, walking through the shops or chatting with a neighbour can remind you of your loss.
The death anniversary is often one of the most challenging days, particularly in the early years. But it can be something as simple as the changing of the seasons triggering smells, colours and sights remind you of your loved one. There are also key holidays such as Easter, Anzac Day and Christmas, as well as birthdays, anniversaries and other events to remember.
Two key dates in Australia that often trigger grief are ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day. Australia’s involvement in wars over the years has left scars that heal but never go away.
Held on 25 April, ANZAC Day is one of Australia's most important national occasions. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps with soldiers in the First World War who landed on Turkey's Gallipoli Peninsula at around dawn on Sunday 25 April 1915. This day marks the anniversary of the first campaign that led to major casualties for Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War, and has become a time to commemorate the Australians and New Zealanders who have served our country.
Remembrance Day falls on the 11th of November. On the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11thmonth, a minutes' silence is observed and dedicated to all soldiers who died fighting to protect our nation. It was at 11am on ll November 1918 that the guns on the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare.
Both ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day bring back memories for many people in our community, and it’s particularly important to be mindful of our loved ones on these days.
Be prepared for difficult days, anticipate them and prepare for them. It’s important to find the right person who is sensitive to the events triggering your grief, ensuring you have someone to open up to. There is nothing more comforting than being able to share and reminisce with someone, even cry with someone Sometimes words don't need to be said. Maybe a silent hug would be better.
To help you during these difficult days, you may try:
You can also support family members or friends on these days by: