The anniversary you hope to forget

Isis smiles

Last Saturday marked the second anniversary of Isis’s death. One the first anniversary, I attended a funeral with Rob and his parents. Naturally this put me in a somber mood, even though I didn’t know the guy. I wrapped Isis’s beaded necklace around my wrist and wore it for two days.

Isis happened to die on February 2, so for the rest of my life, every time someone mentions Groundhog Day (even when referring to the Bill Murray movie), I will make the sad association. Not that I’d be able to forget the date, but this doesn’t help.

Rob, on the other hand, does not connect her death with the date on the calendar. Last year I reminded him of it, but this year, I decided not to mention it to anyone. If Rob and his parents didn’t realize we were approaching the two-year mark, why should I remind them? What purpose would it serve other than to bring them down? Except possibly to make me feel like I wasn’t the only person in the world who remembered.

As the anniversary approached, I wondered if I’d feel shadows of sadness like I did last year, but I didn’t. Saturday was a lovely day: I went to Zumba, a writers happy hour and to a movie with Rob. I even got to some housecleaning I’d been putting off, straightening up the guest room and filing about a year’s worth of paperwork. Plus, the weather was glorious.

Nobody said a single thing to me about it being the anniversary of Isis’s death. I knew my mom was aware of it, and probably my brother and wife were too, since it also happens to be their wedding anniversary. I think not mentioning it was the more considerate thing. How would they even bring it up, since I hadn’t? “Hey, isn’t today the anniversary of your dog’s death?” In the unlikely event I hadn’t remembered, they would have brought up a painful subject unnecessarily.

I’m not sure if Rob’s mom remembered, and she’s perhaps the only person who might be more pained than me to note the anniversary, since she was there when it happened. I don’t want to remind her, because I don’t want her to relive the day if she doesn’t have to.

However, on Sunday, I needed to acknowledge the anniversary out loud. The day was much drearier on the weather front, but Rob and I went out to lunch and took the dogs to the dog park in the rain.When we got home, I said, “You know what yesterday was?”

“Our anniversary?”

Actually, technically our anniversary was Friday, but clearly we’re not big on celebrating that. When I told him what Saturday was, he said, “I wish you hadn’t told me that, but I’m glad you waited a day.”

All in all, February 2 wasn’t too traumatic for me this year, mostly because I’ve spent the past year telling Isis’s story. Years ago, I overcame a broken heart by writing a novel, but memoir is therapeutic on a whole other level. Even after my Isis memoir is complete, I plan to write more.

Published by Kari Neumeyer

Writer, editor, dog mom, ovarian cancer survivor

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