How do you celebrate a wedding anniversary after the death of a spouse? There’s no easy way to answer this question. Some widows and widowers wish to spend the day reflecting on their lost spouse by looking at old photos and listening to music. Other people may want to spend the day with others, sharing stories about their deceased loved ones.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Quotes About Grief As a Surviving Spouse
- Uplifting Quotes for Surviving Spouses on Their Anniversary
- Short Quotes to Share on Social Media
If you aren’t the person missing the spouse, it’s hard to know what to do and say. If you don’t know how to commemorate an anniversary, tell the surviving spouse. There’s nothing wrong with being honest and saying, “I know that Tuesday’s your anniversary, but I’m not sure how to commemorate the event.”
Here are some quotes that may help. They are about death and grief, but at the same time, they are also about everlasting love. Whether you are a surviving spouse or a friend or family member who cares, here are some thoughts that may come in handy as you face the bittersweet day — a wedding anniversary after the death of a spouse.
Tip: Our post-loss checklist can help you or your loved one navigate the uncharted waters of losing a spouse.
Quotes About Grief As a Surviving Spouse
As your anniversary approaches, you may be looking for something to post on social media that would say “happy anniversary in heaven.” Doing so would show others that you are still thinking of your loved one, even if you haven’t been able to celebrate your anniversary together for years.
You may also want to use these quotes for your own personal reflection. You may consider writing about them in a journal or reflecting on them as you go for a walk.
1. “Little by little, we let go of loss, but never of love.” — Unknown
Your grief may feel different now than it did the week after your loss. Regardless, you may want others to know how much you still love your deceased spouse. This sentiment is true irrespective of what types of relationships you lost.
2. “Grief is the last act of love we have to give to those we loved. Where there is deep grief, there was great love.” — Unknown
Versions of this quote have been attributed to very famous people, including Queen Elizabeth II. People are ready to claim this thought because it speaks the truth.
3. “Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul, there is no separation.” by Rumi
Rumi is a medieval poet and Muslim scholar.
4. “The death of a beloved is an amputation.” — C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis wrote a book after losing his beloved wife. In it, he shared his thoughts on grief and how they coincide with his Christian beliefs.
5. “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” — C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis wrote about his wife’s death in “A Grief Observed.” He also wrote the Narnia series and wrote prolifically about the Christian faith.
6. “There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they are gone, the light remains.” — Unknown
Was there something special about your loved one? People with that extraordinary effervescence are always remembered. Did your loved one have that special light?
7. “Grief changes shape but never ends.” — Keanu Reeves
It’s important to realize that grief doesn’t follow the same timeline for everyone. It doesn’t “go away,” and it’s not something you “get through.” We like the imagery that Keanu Reeves uses to describe how this act is ever-changing but ever-present.
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Uplifting Quotes for Surviving Spouses on Their Anniversary
Perhaps instead of focusing your thoughts on grief, you would rather think about eternal, everlasting love. Whether your loved one walks the earth or not, you may still feel the connection and the pull that comes from a love that never goes away.
Here are some quotes that speak about eternal love. Some of them may make you feel connected to your spouse.
8. “Those we love don’t go away. They walk beside us every day.” — Unknown
If you felt genuinely connected to your spouse, you may feel her or her presence wherever you go. You may be reminded of your husband or wife dozens of times a day as you go through your daily life.
9. “True love doesn’t mean being inseparable; it means being separated and nothing changes.” — Unknown
Death, of course, is the most profound separation. Regardless, true love continues even after death.
10. “My love for you is a journey starting at forever and ending at never.” — Unknown
This is a lovely sentiment to use during the eulogy of your loved one.
11. “Love is something eternal; the aspect may change, but not the essence.” — Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh was unlucky in love. He had a series of unsuccessful relationships and unrequited love interests. Regardless, Van Gogh seemed to have a passionate heart.
12. “Time is very slow for those who wait. Very fast for those who are scared. Very long for those who lament. Very short for those who celebrate. But for those who love, time is eternal.” — Unknown
Consider posting this on your wedding anniversary to celebrate the love of your life. This has been falsely attributed to William Shakespeare.
13. “There is no pretending. I will love you and I will love you till I die. And if there is life after that, I’ll love you then.” — Unknown
Consider adding the sentiment to a frame next to a photo of a couple. This would make a lovely gift for a widow or widower.
14. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
This is part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. This section of Matthew is known as the Beatitudes. Others include “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” and “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
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Short Quotes to Share on Social Media
Do you talk about your grief on social media? For some people, the emotions are too raw to share with anyone but their closest friends. Others may want to share their grief because they know that others will understand. Regardless of your stance, here are some quotes about love, death, and grief.
15. “People keep telling me that life will go on, but to me, that’s the saddest part.” — Unknown
While this is not the most uplifting quote, it may tell the truth about how you feel. Look for grief support groups in your community or talk with a counselor if your grief takes you to dark places.
16. “Someday soon, we all will be together If the fates allow. Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow.” — Ralph Blane
You’ll recognize this as a line from “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Even though it may have been written about the separation of a soldier from his family at home, it also works to describe the relationship between a survivor and the person they lost.
17. “They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies.” — William Penn
William Penn was an early colonist, and Pennsylvania was named after him.
18. “Death ends a life. Not a relationship.” — Mitch Albom
Mitch Albom is the author of “Tuesdays With Morrie,” a book about a professor giving his last lessons before he dies to one of his favorite students. This is one of the most important lessons of life that Albom learns from his professor.
19. “Love is space and time measured by the heart.” — Marcel Proust
Marcel Proust was a French essayist and novelist who wrote in the 1910s and 1920s.
20. “Love is something eternal; the aspect may change, but not the essence.” — Jeff Zinnert
Those who have loved know this as truth.
21. “What you are to me has no ending, unless you can understand what forever and infinity really mean.” — A.R. Asher
This proclamation of eternal love would work well for wedding vows as well as a headstone.
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How Do You Say Goodbye to Your Spouse?
Whether you were with your spouse for eight or 58 years, it is difficult to say goodbye to someone you love. Your grief may feel like a wide array of emotions. You may feel anger and sorrow. You may also feel what C.S. Lewis described — fear.
You may wonder how you will sleep without your loved one lying beside you. You may worry about paying the bills or maintaining the house. You may also wonder what to do with your wedding ring.
While you may feel very much alone, you are not the only one who has lost a spouse. Consider reaching out to others who are in a similar situation.