As August 22nd draws closer I prepare myself to be mindfully supportive of my parents on the loss of my brother 8 years ago. It doesn’t seem like 8 years has passed since he took his own life. I remember when this anniversary date loomed over me like an impending storm, and this year I realize the extent of the healing I have allowed to happen.
I even use my divorce date from five years ago as a passcode now, and I don’t cringe as I enter it in. Dates that are associated with trauma can cause anxiety as they draw near because the date triggers the memory, and the emotions associated with the memory can be overwhelming.
One of the therapies utilized at Brookhaven Retreat, LLC is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). This form of psychotherapy enables people to heal from emotional distress caused by disturbing life experiences.
When an anniversary date triggers crippling emotions repeatedly year after year, it may be worth a try at EMDR therapy.
While I prefer to remember my brother on happier dates, my parents’ insistence on recognizing his death anniversary has forced me to confront this date head on. This year should be interesting, though, as my mother has engaged in EMDR recently. She can now speak about the day my brother passed without experiencing intense grief! Perhaps this day will now be a celebration of his life, as well as another success for EMDR as a grief and loss therapy.