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Grieving the Anniversary of My Daughter's Suicide in a Time of Social Distancing

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It’s been four years since my daughter died by suicide. As if my mind wasn’t racing enough, as if the world wasn’t strange enough, we are living in a time of social distancing. The anniversary of the day my daughter died is the day I need most to escape into an adventure, to have my people by my side, yet with social distancing brought on the spread of the coronavirus, we can not.

Grief is isolating enough. For the past three years, I’ve reclaimed this day for a new adventure, spending time with those we love to make it easier and more commemorative. The beautiful trip I had planned was cancelled, the adventure planned completely changed. Those who mean the most are not physically close, no arms around me to comfort and no venturing into the world to find something new.

It all leaves me with too much time.

For me, the uncertainty of the world today pales in comparison to the uncertainty I felt four years ago. I stood still alone while the world continued on.

Now the world stands still in uncertainty together.

We need to remember, life is precious and the experiences we share are too. We can hide from happiness because terrible things happen or we can find the joy in the little things. Choosing to find joy or happiness doesn’t mean we have forgotten the tragedy, it shows we honor it.

So as I grieve in the time of social distancing, I know that each message and call is really a hug, a friend sitting here with me, a shoulder to cry on, a shared story to laugh about, a memory of my girl that shines in this world.

Four years have gone by and the pain is no less, my heart is still not healed. The 17 years, 11 months and 24 days we had are still not enough, and the four years without her is too much.

Have you had to grieve a tough anniversary during the coronavirus pandemic? Share your experience in the comments below. 

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Originally published: April 2, 2020
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