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Each year the death anniversary looms over us. What a horrible day to be remembered. Often the same horror and misery of the day returns and we are left devastated all over again. On the first anniversary of Darren's death I wanted to do something significant. I decided on spreading rose petals on the river. Portland has two major rivers. The last time I spent with Darren was during Rose Festival (the month of June) in Portland while he was home from college for a week. And, the last day we spent together was on a friend's yacht greeting the Navy fleet as it arrived for the celebration. Throwing petals photo

Hence, the roses and the water. I have done it a little differently each year. This photo was from the stern of a dinner cruise boat on the third anniversary. I have thrown petals from a bridge, from a dock and from boats large and small. One of the better things about this ritual is that it gets friends involved in saving their rose petals for me. The more you can get family and friends involved, the more they will be open to your grief. MOST IMPORTANT, is that I have found that the ritual itself has become most dominate in my mind and I no longer relive those emotions of that first day.

Actually, I am involved the whole day. I start with a trip to the cemetery and take a small boombox. I play the tape of the prelude music from Darren's funeral. It was his music: Eric Clapton, Santana, Jerry Garcia Band, Allman Brothers and a reggae group, Jah Glory. Later I have a beer with Darren's dad at a microbrew pub where Darren and his friends would go. Then we usually go to a Japanese restaurant for dinner in honor of Darren's girlfriend Maki, who died along with him. And, I almost forgot, I have a vase on the table with 2 white roses and an iris, in honor of the three angels. Of course I will never forget, but the original pain doesn't come back like it used to. Yes, I shed some tears but I try to make the day more memorable for my tribute to Darren than for the horrible accident.
Petals againThis photo was taken 6/7/00 commemorating the last day I spent with Darren 10 years earlier. Because I will be in Tucson with the other parents on the 10 year anniversary of Darren's death, I wouldn't be able to do my petals on the water. I would miss the ritual so I did it for this important date instead.


What did you do to get through those bad days? PLEASE E-MAIL ME WITH YOUR IDEAS, I DON'T CARE WHAT THEY ARE, THEY MIGHT JUST HELP SOMEONE HAVE A BETTER DAY. Don't forget birthdays (Darren's is in my book), too. So be sure to click below on E-mail and send your ideas along. Thanks for helping.

Email: Click for email with your anniversary and birthday plans

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