Febuary 8th just past, was the 6th anniversary of the death of my mother, from a rare form of cancer of the ear. Who knew such things existed? She was 65.
For the first 3 years or so, every time it was coming up towards the anniversary, I would be overcome with grief from a couple of weeks before to several weeks afterwards.
Last year I only remembered on the evening of the anniversary itself.
This year I forgot all about it until last night, 2 days after.
Does this mean I care less about her? Of course not. I still miss her profoundly, and always will, but I have a greater level of acceptance she is no longer here.
I take this as a good sign.
Perhaps it's like the fact I always find an overgrown grave more comforting than a well attended one with fresh flowers.
I don't believe in any kind of afterlife - gods, spirits or ghosts - so a gravestone is not about the person who died, it's about the people who lived on afterwards.
A well attended grave indicates relatives who have not yet been able to find a way to move on enough to leave it.
When I die, like my mother I'd prefer to be cremated. I'd hate to feel those who survive me feel they need to maintain a plot of land out of a sense of obligation.