It is helpful to remember individuals who are grieving want to know that others remember the one who has died.  They want to talk about the deceased person. So, invite conversation on the anniversary date of a loved one’s death.

JoAnne said to me, “Today, it has been one year since my husband died.”

I asked her, “How long were you married?” She replied, “Sixty-five years.” I responded, “Wow!  That is a lot of years to be married.  I remember that your husband, Jim, had some good advice for newlyweds.  One was something about kissing good night.” With a twinkle in her eyes, JoAnne said, “Oh yes, Jim said, ‘Always kiss good night.’”  Then she added, “Sometimes that was hard to do.  Sometimes it was just a forced quick peck!”  We all smiled. Then her son added, “Whenever dad toasted a newly married couple, he said, ‘Each one of you needs to give 60% to the other partner.’” From that two minute conversation, I received some advice on marriage, and JoAnne received an opportunity to talk about her husband.  She also knew that I remembered Jim. And one more bit of thoughtful wisdom:  JoAnne’s son attended church with his mother on that one year anniversary of the death of his father and his mother’s husband.  What a thoughtful gesture!

For more information on this topic, listen to the podasts: what to say on the anniversary of someone’s death and share a memory on the anniversary of someone’s death

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