Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Should I take the day off on August 19?

Hi there,

Sometimes I write to tell you things, but other times, like tonight, I need your advice.

August 19 is the date my mom passed away. (Is there actually a term for this "holiday"? The only one that seems right is deathiversary, but that's pretty dark, even for me!) Anyway, for the past 7 years, I've always taken that day off from work. At first it was out of fear of breaking down at work, but later it became out of respect for my mom, my family, and myself.

Now, as August approaches, I've already begun anticipating the date. But today I thought, "It's been 7 years, do I really still need to take the day off?"

I'm torn. Part of me likes my family's tradition: My dad, brother, and I go to the cemetery and out to lunch (similar to what we did on my mom's birthday). I also don't subscribe to the idea that grief has a time limit. Although lately I've been curious about what joy I could find if grief did have a time limit, which I guess is the reason behind wanting to treat this August 19 -- 7 years later -- a little differently.

What do you think?


  1. YES...but not to be sad (ok, maybe a little). To do something that would make your mother laugh. Surely she could use a chuckle that day, too.

  2. I would have to disagree with Rosa. My mom's birthday is in September (her first since passing away) and while it will be hard, she always told me that I need to keep going with my life no matter what. I was never to use her as an excuse fornot doing something. (I'm not saying that you are, just what my own mother said). I think that you should think about what she would say to you if you asked her this same question.

  3. It sounds like you're ready to move on from taking the whole day off work, so I think you should follow that feeling. But what about having dinner with your dad and brother that night? You can still continue the tradition of getting together with them that day. They may not be ready to go cold turkey, so that would be a good compromise.

  4. I would continue the tradition in some respect (perhaps dinner, as Julie suggested), especially since your Dad and bro may not be as far along in the grieving process as you are. It doesn't have to be a sad day, it could be a nice celebration of Sally's life, and the time you all spent with her. I'm sure she'd love to know you are all together in her honor, and from the sound of it, she'd want you to have as fabulous a time as possible.

    -Laura S