Anniversaries are incredibly powerful and if utilized in the right way can catapult you forwards like nothing else. There are so many anniversaries in our lives: our own birth, our children’s birth, a wedding, a traumatic or even a joyous experience, an adoption loss, a serious diagnosis and of course death and funerals - this list can go on endlessly. What was too overwhelming and hence dissociated at the time of an experience will come up again a year later for you to process and digest. A year of new learning and the healing of time itself hopefully means that you are a bit more resourced.
It really helps to be aware of the power of anniversaries so you can be prepared for the big feelings that will arise out of nowhere. If you see them in the right context, you will be able to navigate and ride the waves much easier. And you can then call in the help you need to go through it with a bit more ease and gentleness. If you let yourself be guided in this process, magical things can happen to you and the spiritual gifts you will receive can be huge. Personal growth, more embodiment and resiliency, better boundaries and increased inner strength, clearer intuition and psychic abilities can all be the positive side effects of anniversaries.
I hope this article will encourage you to give the power of anniversaries more room in your life so their healing will fully embrace you. This big process will be easier to manage with preparation and support. I am sharing my experience to inspire you for your next journey inwards.
The second year of my husband’s passing anniversary was a big one and I learnt so much in a very condensed time frame. I made another quantum leap forward. The anniversary labour was intensified by arriving back home in the freezing cold with a completely empty fridge and still sick with Covid after travelling. It was the perfect storm.
“It has been nice to be reminded how much fun reading a book, just sitting for ages on the beach, skinny dipping in the morning, snorkelling every day in the coral reef, paddle boarding and even cooking is. When I am snorkelling I can take in the beauty around me when at the beginning I was just stressing ridiculously easily. I am surprised by the kindness of people around me and it is so nice noticing how my nervous system has switched from constant cortisol stress reactions to more ease.”
Even though I had planned to go travelling for a three months I all of a sudden knew it was time to go back again after only four weeks. My land was calling me and I followed its call even though I was scared of facing the anniversary at home instead of being on the road like the year before.
The intense loneliness that first hit me after travelling up north and returning to my remote house was excruciatingly painful, I did not know how to get through it and everything on my land overwhelmed me. In a clumsy way I reached out via text to a few people, that’s all I could do. Some ignored me, some responded. What I really should have written is: “Please bring me some cooked food, I am at that grieving stage where I can’t cook for myself. I need real human contact, not text messages, give me a hug, let’s eat together, go for a walk, listen to me and just know that I am going through the anniversary time”.
It is so interesting how the grief is tied in with food and the lack of family and community around me. It is not ideal that I live on my own too far out of town. Grief needs a village, it needs being held by a bigger container. We cannot do grief alone as biologically we are herd animals and it is wired into us to need one another.
I needed a lot of silence. I went for walks around my block and cut down weed trees. I watched the flow of what wanted doing, instead of pushing myself to get things done. I signed up for qigong online classes that resonated and made me smile, they help me to reconnect with myself again, to the spirit world, to energy, to life.
I didn’t really understand grief fully even though I deeply grieved the death of my godmother who was the most important person in my life from a very young age. Without her in my life I wouldn’t have made it. But I am realizing that I was prepared for her death, the moment she told me that she had cancer I knew she would die and two years later I spent the week before she died with her without having to be her carer. It was the best week of my life, we talked and even laughed a lot about death, we both accepted it was coming and we were deeply connected. And as I didn’t live with her, my everyday life didn’t change after her death.
There is so much no one talks about, so much no one teaches, so many taboos that are silenced. I might just have to write this book.
I used to love talking about the spirit world with my husband. Like my indigenous friend Hazel he could see spirits and communicate with them, he knew things he couldn’t have possibly known if not connected to this reality. It has been so nice talking to with my new grieving friends about the spiritual gifts we have been receiving through this painful yet transformational process.
I will find a solution for this rural and isolated block of land with an off the grid tiny home. But right now I am grateful that I have this safe place that can hold me and my grief. Just as it was after Digby’s death I could not leave the block of land in the anniversary week.
Something magical made sure that I could not find the keys to my house and counselling office after my travels and so I had to cancel all my face to face clients – I was clearly not allowed to leave the block of land. For over two weeks I looked everywhere for these keys, suspecting that they would turn up when the time was right. And I did indeed find them without looking once the anniversary time was completed: They were in a dresser with my husband’s ashes on top, hidden behind a framed card my now dead godmother had painted for our wedding. Goosebumps!
My deep thanks to the friends that stood by my side no matter what.
And now it is time to make new friends, to build a strong network around me so I can do the work I will be called to do.
My attention at present is on letting go of the things that don’t flow and being gentle with myself – it’s like falling in love with my own self.
May we all be supported in our deep journeys on this planet with the stars surrounding and the oceans connecting us.
Trauma and nervous system recovery
you want to find out more about your nervous system and
the incredible healing from trauma I am inviting you to read the
short articles on in
my blog section - you can subscribe to my newsletters via my website
and receive all future blogs conveniently via email.
Feel free to forward my article to others, but please add my name to it for copyright reasons. You can also find me on my Facebook page “Counselling Somatic Barbara Schmidt"