Anniversaries are tricky. They mean different things to different people, matter more to some than to others, and can leave us feeling terribly alone.
Yesterday was the 14th anniversary of the day that Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans. It was the 14th anniversary, not a big flashy one, like the 10th, or the 25th. Most people, at least most people outside of certain communities in the gulf, didn’t even notice it coming and going. And that’s ok. It’s probably even good. But for some of us, some of us whose hearts broke a little differently, a little more permanently, that day, it is an impossible day not to note. It was a day for remembering, and then choosing to forget (or forgetting by accident, which somehow feels worse than remembering) and then remembering again.
Grief can pull people together. On this anniversary, I feel closer to other people who are also mourning. But I also feel a distance from the people who aren’t feeling this sense of loss, this feeling of disconnect. This happens when we mourn people as well. When the time to mourn together comes – memorial services, days of remembrance – we feel more connected through our grief. But when it is just another anniversary, and the rest of the world has moved on, we can feel profoundly alone in our sorrow.
Yesterday was one of the days that my heart felt a little more cracked open, tomorrow might be one of yours. If today is a day that is hard for you, tell someone. If you know someone who might be having a hard time, reach out. The sorrow we feel from the many heartbreaks that come from just being alive don’t go away. But we don’t have to be alone for them.