Those of us who have lost someone very special, whom we loved with a deeply spiritual love will know what I am talking about.
It's the annual reminder, the anniversary of our parting, this date comes in and out of consciousness, perhaps for a week or so before hand. Then, if the loss happened at a particularly significant time of year, say Christmas or Easter, when this part of the world celebrates or shuts down for a day or so, then the full weight of our loss in this life, can come crashing down, crushing us for a day or perhaps a week or more. I do not experience the heavy weight of grief every year, much seems to depend on what activities I am absorbed in at the time. I do not take the view that 'remembering' does any harm, quite the opposite, once again I am reminded of the temporary nature of my natural life and the need to be sure that I have God's spirit within me to live on in peace with Him for always.
As a Christian, I fully trust that God loves me and continues teaching me the things that are good to for me to know, in particular, more and more about my spiritual life and my relationships with God and other souls, here and for all eternity.
My work would be pointless and possibly fruitless, without empathy and love for others who are in a state of confusion and distress. It is far from unusual that clients will come to therapy, (for whatever reason), and will be grieving for someone who died perhaps many years previously, perhaps when they were only an infant and yet will have hardly allowed themselves time to think about this very significant event and the effect it may have had upon them, consciously or unconsciously.
I think we do not need to be ashamed or embarrassed to talk about the death of a loved one. After all thousands of deaths are taking place globally, each and every day, and people of all ages are having to cope with the experience of grief, yet we still seem to push death out of our minds as though it never really happens.
I do not say that we should dwell on it, only that we should not be surprised if we are feeling the pressure of grief again when the anniversary comes around once more. It will pass and all will be light and life again.
UPDATE. I wrote this peice three and a half years ago. My faith has greatly deepened since that time and I no longer feel that I am missing Alan, who was such very special person in my life. Rather I think of Alan frequently with great love and gratitude, remembering how he loved me and my family at a time when I was wondering what the future might hold. I knew then and I have no doubt now that God brought us together and I have been content to live a single life eversince. Alan filled my life with unconditional love and when he passed to the Lord, God sent me another comforter, the holy spirit. Jesus is all I need now, he supplies all my needs.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.