Anniversaries can mark many things, a point in time when something significant and out of the ordinary has happened to us; they allow us to pause and remember those events which are part of our lives. A symbolic date in the calendar comes to represent that event, sometimes anniversaries are for the living and sometimes for the dead.

As a general rule I don’t tend to dwell on the anniversary of a death, it is only my father’s death date that I remember.
January 26th 1990.
He was dead by the time I arrived home, our alcoholic neighbour picked me up from the train station, he tried to grope me and kiss me; the dirty drunken bastard. Got his commupenance in the end though and died of liver failure, I had no sympathy. He stole a collection box from his local church, and in court defended himself saying he was testing church security; got away with it at the time, but karma gets us all in the end. I didn’t tell anyone for years as to what had happened on that night, alcohol was his demon, I still sometimes feel guilty and wander how many other drink fuelled gropes he attempted and the women he plunged himself on; a pathetic, pissed, lecherous man.

I was 19 when dad died, I have now been alive for more years than I knew him for. It has been 23 years since he passed, his insides eaten away by cancer. His anniversary is a hard time for mum, I think there is still rawness that has never healed; and I am always acutely aware that this for her is a difficult date. As with all previous years I make sure I at least call her and speak to her, now that we are closer geographically I often spend time with her on the anniversary.
I cannot heal the hole in her heart that the passing of her husband has left, he is missed, loved, remembered fondly, never far from our thoughts; we raise a glass to the man we proudly knew whose love is always with us.