What can be better for a couple than a wedding anniversary — and what’s better than celebrating it in a big way? Maybe your family gathers together each year to flip through wedding albums and admire the dress you keep hanging in your closet.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- How to Say ‘Happy Anniversary to My Husband in Heaven’
- How to Say ‘Happy Anniversary in Heaven’ to Your Wife
- How to Say ‘Happy Anniversary in Heaven’ to Mom & Dad
But what happens once your better half passes away? Celebrating one of the most important days in your life alone may not feel right at all. There are still ways to say “Happy anniversary,” even if your spouse is in heaven.
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How to Say ‘Happy Anniversary to My Husband in Heaven’
These poems, quotes, and messages can be used to celebrate whether you post them on social media or read them aloud.
Poems for a husband
1. "Dear One Absent This Long While” by Lisa Olstein
Olstein writes about how she feels in limbo: She’s waiting for her husband to return and imagines that he’s approaching when leaves blow in the wind or lights flicker. She finds space to treasure his memory even in this state of constant expectation.
2. "In Your Sleep" by Leanne O’Sullivan
O’Sullivan recounts the experience of watching her husband peacefully pass away. She compares his death to the escape of a lark — a bird associated with escape and freedom. She pictures her husband reviving and rising on another adventure.
3. "To My Dear and Loving Husband” by Anne Bradstreet
Are you a history buff? If so, you know that the Puritans weren’t known for affection and that restraint was highly prized. Bradstreet, a Puritan, broke the rules in her poem, about how she hopes she and her husband stay in love as long as they’re alive. The poem goes on to explain how she hopes they stay together in eternal heaven after they die.
Quotes for a husband
4. “I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.” - Nicholas Sparks, Author
“The Notebook” is a staple for sappy romantic movie nights. This line can encapsulate years of marriage. Maybe your husband never contributed to curing cancer or became a world-famous leader. You can use this quote in your husband’s funeral handouts. Put it on a memorial collage board, post it on social media, or write it in your journal.
5. “Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it be rather a moving sea between the shores of your souls.” - Kahlil Gibran, Author
It’s easy to focus on the void your husband’s absence has left. Loneliness and grief can conspire to make you feel like your love story is over — but it’s not. You don’t have to be with someone all the time to love him. In fact, you can still be madly in love with someone who has passed on. The emotional bond you and your husband shared is forever.
6. “My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.” - Sir Winston Churchill, Politician, Army Officer, and Writer
Sir Winston Churchill was one of the most famous men of the 20th century. He guided Britain through World War II, dealt with domestic conflicts in the U.K., and was a revered world leader. But he believed his wife’s hand in marriage was his best achievement.
Messages for a husband
These are great to post on social media or to read aloud.
7. “I’m so lucky I got the chance to fall in love with you. Today marks 13 years since our wedding day. Happy anniversary in heaven.”
8. “I’m so glad I got the chance to say “I do” last year. Missing you so much today, but I’m still remembering our special day even though you’re in heaven.”
9. “I’m looking through our wedding album and remembering how excited we were. So happy to celebrate our 30th anniversary.”
10. “I’m so happy to remember our wedding day 6 years ago. I’m forever grateful I got to spend those years with you. Happy anniversary!”
How to Say “Happy Anniversary in Heaven” to Your Wife
Many poets treated their wives as romantic muses. As a result, many poems can serve as emotional odes to your wife. Beauty, bravery, and strength are all celebrated in these verses.
Poems for a wife
11. "To My Wife” by J.V. Cunningham
Cunningham talks about all the contradictions of love and focuses on how love can feel like a lot of emotions, all at once. Regret, anger, terror, delight… they’re all present in a long-term relationship.
12. "Anniversary” by Dan Beachy-Quick
Beachy-Quick focuses on one of the best parts of marriage — that you’re a better, truer version of yourself when you’re together with your spouse.
13. "An Anniversary Poem” by Wendy Cope
Cope wrote this poem as a celebration of women priests ordained in the Church of England. This poem celebrates equality and religious joy. It’s been used to celebrate modern wedding anniversaries, too. It celebrates religious equality and service before God. If this was a defining feature in your marriage, it could be a great poem for your wife.
Quotes for a wife
14. “Summer romances begin for all kinds of reasons, but when all is said and done, they have one thing in common. They’re shooting stars, a spectacular moment of light in the heavens, a fleeting glimpse of eternity, and in a flash, they’re gone.” - Nicholas Sparks, Author
Some romances feel like they encompass eternity. There’s nothing on either side of that romance that matters. The best romances are remembered afterward. They light up the sky, inspire wonder and make the world a better place. If your romance is like that vanished shooting star, it still matters because it lit up the world for a brief moment.
15. “If you can promise me anything, promise me that whenever you’re sad, or unsure or you lose complete faith that you’ll try to see yourself through my eyes.” - “P.S. I Love You”
It’s easy to get lost in a maelstrom of negative emotions. Grief, loss… that spiral goes on forever. Viewing yourself through your own lens is sometimes rough. But what was your spouse’s vision of you? Your spouse loved, protected, and cherished you. All your best qualities were close to your heart. Seeing yourself as someone worthy of that is a great way to combat low self-esteem in the wake of grief.
16. “Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.” - Franz Schubert, Composer
True friendship is a rare gift. It’s great to have memories of a spouse who was your best friend.
Messages for a wife
17. “I’m remembering our ninth wedding anniversary today. I miss you so much but I’m so happy I got the chance to raise our family with you. Happy anniversary, my dear.”
18. “I’m looking through all the mementos I saved from our wedding. Your beautiful dress, the wedding photos, your ring… I’m so glad I saved them. Happy 32nd anniversary.”
19. “I’m so thankful I got the chance to marry you last year. I miss you, but I treasure the time we spent together. Happy anniversary, my true love.”
20. “Today is the seventh year since our wedding day. Happy anniversary in heaven. I’ll always miss and love you.”
How to Say “Happy Anniversary in Heaven” to Mom and Dad
Celebrating your parents’ anniversary can be difficult when they’re both gone, but here are some ways you can say happy anniversary to your parents in heaven.
Poems for your parents
21. "A Tenth Anniversary Photograph” by Miller Williams
We all know the traditional war love story. Williams’ parents married the week before his father left for war and had a storybook marriage for the rest of their lives. This poem chronicles his parents’ journey.
22. "Anniversary” by Kate Knapp Johnson
This poem marvels at parents who stayed together for 32 years. It also lists all the tiny things that bind a marriage and a family, from childish drawings hung near the fridge to polishing an engagement ring.
23. "Anniversary” by William Greenway
Someday, you’ll be in your parents’ shoes, and if you’re lucky, you might hit the same milestones.
Quotes for your parents
24. “Marriage is an act of will that signifies and involves a mutual gift, which unites the spouses and binds them to their eventual souls, with whom they make up a sole family — a domestic church.” - John Paul II, Pope
This is a great quote if your parents were staunch Catholics. The family unit is just as holy as a larger church.
25. “There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.” - Martin Luther, theology professor, composer, Priest and Monk
A good marriage has the power to leave a legacy.
26. “The secret of a happy marriage is finding the right person. You know they're right if you love to be with them all the time.” - Julia Child, Chef
Were your parents the kind of people who couldn’t stand to be separated from each other? If so, their anniversary was worth celebrating.
Messages for your parents
27. “I’m lucky I got the chance to be raised by people who were so in love with each other. Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad.”
28. “You and Mom gave a great example of a solid, happy marriage. So happy you imparted those lessons to me. Happy anniversary!”
29. “Celebrating your 51st anniversary is an honor. I know you’d both be so happy that the whole family has gathered together today!”
30. “Love you both, and I wish you a happy anniversary in heaven.”
Make a New Tradition
Create a new tradition can help to fill your loved one’s absence. Whether you throw an anniversary party or read a few poems aloud, you can still celebrate an anniversary — at the very least, it can give you a reason to gather with others.
If you're looking for other ways to honor a loved one a special day, read our guides on how to say "happy birthday in heaven", what to do on a death anniversary, and how to express that you're missing them at Christmas.
- “Some Notable Quotes on the Family.” Toronto Catholic District School Board. n.d., www.tcdsb.org/Board/NurturingOurCatholicCommunity/PastoralPlanArchives/Year-of-Family/Documents/Some%20Notable%20Quotes%20on%20the%20Family.pdf