January 1 Is My Dad’s Death Anniversary

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  • January 2, 2022

My dad passed away on January 1, 2018.
Since then, saying “happy new year” has been painful for me.
But I say it anyway because while I walk around with a lump in my throat and a heavy heart, I also have many reasons to be grateful and celebrate.
Yes, gratitude can co-exist alongside other feelings, even so-called negative ones.

What really hurts me is how not a single person in my life ever mentions dad when they send me new year greetings. I can’t believe nobody remembers, that’s really sad.

Or are they just afraid to bring him up?

Are they scared that they might remind me and make me cry?
Are they scared that they might remind me, make me cry, and have to comfort me?
Are they scared that they might remind me, make me cry, have to comfort me, and end up crying too?

It doesn’t really matter. It’s been four years and by now I’ve accepted that this is something that I can only discuss with people I pay. Psychiatrist, psychologist, grief coach, trauma expert – those people.

But for the special few who might care to know, here’s a little something I found on Instagram posted by author/writer/grief guide/podcast host, Sarah Nannen.
I shared it with a friend who lost her mom recently.
“If only everyone knew this and would do it,” she messaged back.
Yeah, if only.

By Sarah Nannen

By Sarah Nannen

By Sarah Nannen


During the wee hours of January 1 2022, I dreamt of my dad doing what he loved most: EAT!
He was at this huge buffet place. It was an entire building of scrumptious dishes, one had to go up and down escalators to access different food stations. Ah, his idea of heaven.

Photo from 2013. This buffet is nothing compared to what dad is enjoying now.

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