Two Years On
The end of August marks two whole years since our world was changed dramatically. Two years since an amazing woman passed away. Two years since we said our final goodbye. This anniversary comes around far too quickly for our liking, but with each year that passes, it is important for us to remember that woman and reminisce over the many happy memories we had together.
We spent the day with close family and friends. Following on from the tradition of last year, we all met at a park where our niece and nephew went with their Mummy regularly. Last year we went to a park near their family home, but this year they chose a park where they had many happy memories together. Whilst at the park, we released balloons into the sky (yes, they were biodegradable, don’t you worry).
Attached to these balloons were little messages about what we wanted to say to the woman we miss so much. Deciding on a short message to convey everything we wanted to was difficult, but writing those feelings down really helped. Watching the balloons float carelessly up into the sky gives everyone an opportunity to simply stand there and think of her. It was nice to imagine that she was reading our messages. But the most heart warming moment was watching the children run after the balloons, full of laughter.
We also use this day as an opportunity to share memories. We always talk openly with our niece and nephew about their Mummy, about what we all remember, about what we miss, about how we feel. But these conversations are definitely emphasised on the anniversary of her death. Talking about her helps to keep her memory alive and enables the children to process their emotions.
For us, the years go by too quickly. With each year that passes, it reminds us that is one more year that our niece and nephew are without their Mummy and one more year that we have been responsible for them. The thing about grief is, it doesn't just occur during the period after someone dies. It lasts forever and it shouldn't be ignored. Speaking openly with children about death is, in our opinion, extremely therapeutic and helps them to understand their own grief. We never ignore any questions that our niece and nephew have and answer them in an age appropriate way.
When we asked our niece and nephew why we do something special on the anniversary of their Mummy's death they simply said "because she is our Mummy". We couldn't have put it better ourselves.