Kathleen's Christmas Cactus blooming here March 7th, 2018

Anticipating an Anniversary:

Anniversaries that do not impact us, directly, can quickly be forgotten.  And so it is with the suicide of our loved one.  Others overlook, but we don't.  They go back to everyday living and we just can't. If you let yourself, this can affect relationships with others. Human nature does that to us all.

Suicide anniversaries are constant reminders of the event and the aftermath that altered our lives.  Unfortunately, just knowing this in your head, does little to soften the blow to your heart.

In those early days the anniversary was marked by the hour, then the day of the week, later the day of the month and on and on.  Etched into our personal history, it becomes a permanent reminder of the suicide.

Advice from the general populace is to "let it go."  Their prevailing belief is the impression will fade, if not vanish.  On the surface, the concept is practical enough, applying it is different.

As the years have passed, I still find myself looking in the rear-view mirror for one reason or another.  The deep anguish is gone.  Acceptance, which I once thought impossible, replaces it.  And so it is. Another anniversary a week away.

The upheaval that once prevailed has dissipated, but it lives on in my memory.

Today, I looked back again at the first thoughts I put on paper, after the day my friend Dee, my pastor and I headed out to Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.  These memories reflect the events of Internment Day just a week after Rebecca's departure.   To remember all this is extremely sad but I am still glad I have it.  It reminds me how far I have come and no longer consumes my thoughts.

The Journal entry (from March 26th 1999) reads:

"Myself, Dee and Pastor Gary met at Schraders [funeral home] about 1:45.  David drove us to JB and let me know he had arranged for us to go to the burial site.  Checking in @ the gate Terry escorted us to 1GB 240.  A worker with a shovel was standing by.  The box of Rebecca's remains was placed in the round hole & the staff moved back.  Looking down & holding Dee's hand Gary read scripture & Prayed - I cried. [Note: a memory I refrained from including was my tears falling on the box.] We walked back up the slope & watched the worker fill the hole.  Many dreams seemed to go dark.  I knew in my head she was gone - but - my heart still refuses to believe it. Dj SAD."

I suppose I will come back to these memories.  I always do.

dJ FHAS-V04-GP-0310.2018