Anniversary Reactions: Dealing With Loss

Anniversary Reactions: Dealing With Loss


Written on JUNE 21, 2012

By Alyce Duckworth; LCSW and Supervisor at Prince St. Academy, Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network

About 14 years ago, in the early summer, I lost my father and grandfather in quick succession. Being in grad school and on the verge of marriage, it was already a tumultuous time for me. Although many years have passed between now and then, I continue to feel an increase in sadness, a decrease in energy, and quite unlike myself around the time of these losses. This year, the first with my daughter, I’ve experienced an intensification of these feelings as I’ve wished that she could have known the two very important men in my life.

Knowledge of trauma and loss tells me that I am not alone in the above-related experiences. In fact, there’s a name for the resurgence of depressed feelings that coincide with the anniversary of traumatic events, whether they involve the loss of a loved one or other distressing occurrences.