Resources for executors and Estate Administrators

What’s Your Grief’s: Coping with a Loved One’s Death Anniversary: 30 Ideas

What’s Your Grief’s: Coping with a Loved One’s Death Anniversary: 30 Ideas

February 24, 2023

30 ways to honor and remember your loved one on their death anniversary


Source: What’s Your Grief

 Some will want to fully feel the sadness and emotion of the day (what I like to call ‘wallowing with a purpose’), some will want to stay positive, some will want to do a quick and casual acknowledgment, and some will want to spend the entire day focused on the deceased.

– Eleanor Haley, What’s your Grief

This event will be different for everyone.  People from your grieving circle will treat this day differently.  If it is one thing you learn from What’s your Grief it is that everyone has a different approach to grief, a different nature for handling grief, and there is no right way or wrong way.

Anniversaries are tricky.  Again, everyone will handle them differently, and there’s no handbook.  We like WYG’s list of ideas as there are so many ways listed to touch your relationship with the deceased, tend your grief a little, and feel what you need to feel however you want.  A run-down of the list may inspire you to create your own idea.

For us, the WYG list inspired us to think of a few…

  • Take a walk.
  • If you have a keepsake, something personal of theirs, keep it with you for the day.
    Unless it’s something heavy like a credenza.
  • Write them a letter.
  • Plan a short getaway (or a long one!) – something positive to look forward to.
  • Nurture: Check-in on someone from your grief circle to see how they’re doing.
  • Meditate.

Potentially it changes year to year.  Your grief changes from year to year.  Be wary of committing to some regular thing.  For years I had a shot of Bourbon “with my mom” at a local bar.  I left her shot on the bar (Bartenders know) and that was it.  The last time it didn’t scratch the itch it used to and that was it.  Now, it’s different.  And that’s OK.  It’s still on my list, but grief moves.

Our Favorites


“Search for joy and feel gratitude.”  We love this.  This is, “it’s about the dash” thinking.  Not the date after the dash.  Gratitude for that dash and the moments therein is POWERFULL.

You know – it doesn’t really matter what our favorites are.  This is about you.  This is about what’s right for you.  We just want you to have some resources to deal with and manage this tricky stuff.

We thank you What’s Your Grief.

We obviously advocate for finding constructive ways to acknowledge and cope with tough days; although I will totally support you in ignoring them if you so choose. But we highly recommend on days like the death anniversary that you find at least small ways to honor and remember your loved one.

– Eleanor Haley, What’s Your Grief