I've written posts related to this subject before (see below), but recent experience has returned me to the topic of "Anniversary Fever," of how and when our bodies grieve. I've found this pattern to be most clear in the first one to two years after we lose a loved one. Sometimes, you find yourself feeling unwell on the monthly anniversaries of a death, funeral, event. Other times, it's the year-long mark or the birthday of someone who no longer celebrates that birthday here with us. I used to think that, after some certain period of time, the body would no longer experience these glitches. I was wrong.
The son of one of my lifelong friends died 12 years ago. Although we lived in separate countries at the time and neither of us knew what was occurring in each other's lives, her son's funeral occurred the same day that I left my home and experienced a loss so strange and painful that it simply cannot be brought into a public sphere.
You have likely heard any number of things about Tantra in the media. It has some points, though, that have nothing to do with any celebrity's sex life and everything to do with real life. One of these is the doctrine that "the body is a vehicle of truth." Again, I don't completely understand this, but I see the doctrine at work all the time. And I certainly see it in grief-related anniversaries.
I encourage everyone to be conscious of these anniversaries. I believe they are some kind of crossing-point or rite of passage that, in spite of the temporary pain they cause, are vital to our "getting along with grief." Perhaps they are as mysterious as death itself. Perhaps I will never fully understand why anniversary "symptoms" occur or what purpose they serve. For now, I can simply say that I choose to be conscious of them, that I prefer consciousness to lack thereof, and that I choose to see them as progress and a sign of my own wholeness...a sign that all of me lives all of my life. It occurs to me that I can use that consciousness in some way, choosing to remember that loved one, choosing to share memories of them with others, sending a memorial donation in their name to a favorite cause. These, among others, are "symptoms" I can choose and celebrate, even as my body works to release a yet-dissonant chord from my life's score.
For earlier posts on this topic, see:
Building on the Changes
So Many Seasons in One Month