Notice how we don’t have a word to commemorate someone’s death date?

Such a monumental event and we don’t even acknowledge a death date with a specific word.

We’ve got birthday and anniversary. Anniversary translates to “year turning” [= “annus” year…”versus” turning]. But, we no longer use a particular word to signify the date someone we love died. The word anniversary, according to secret society Middle English folklore (or this website), was initially used to refer to someone’s death date.

Other cultures and languages refer to the death anniversary specifically. Most other cultures celebrate the deaths of their loved ones each year, and publicly. Americans are so private and guarded with their grief.

I call it deathiversary. It flows naturally, and there’s no mistaking the celebration’s intent.

My father died ten years ago today. His deathiversary always aligns with the subtle changing of the seasons in Florida. If we’re lucky, we’ll have cool mornings and evenings. Some years, such as this year, the chill arrives and leaves swiftly.  I hop back into Tevas and jean shorts, complaining about the vicious and blinding sun.

The day of my father’s funeral in Springfield, Massachusetts, it was 22 degrees. The cold-appropriate clothing felt extra comforting as I hid my body, heavy with grief, into the layers.

During those days, in 2008 before smart phones had taken over, wherever I went, I carried my pocket size Canon Power Shot Elph with me. That point and shoot camera, which was 8.0 megapixels and had a color-accent feature that everyone was fascinated with, did so much despite it’s amature status.

I was able to capture moments like this throughout the day of my father’s service:


dad superman

It’s a tiny photo, but a giant memory.


Picture 24_copy

Margaret Street, Springfield, Mass. 10/22/2008


Picture 20

I haven’t returned to his grave, or Massachusetts, since 2008.



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