A full year has passed since someone you know lost a loved one, and you may wish to consider reaching out to let them know that you’re thinking of them on the anniversary day. It can be difficult to know what to say or do, and you may even feel you’re being intrusive by reaching out at all. Every person’s journey through grief is unique, and each circumstance around a loss is different from the next. There are lots of different ways to show you care, and it is important to consider which one you think will be most supportive. 

Here is a list of ideas to help you find the best way to show your support:     

Write a thoughtful note

A short note is a gentle way to let someone know you’re thinking about them during this difficult time. It can be a long letter or a short, simple note saying “I’m thinking of you today.” Is there a fond memory that you can share? Consider including a special photograph with your memory. 

Here are some suggestions to help you get started: 

  • I’ll never forget when…
  • My favorite memory is…
  • I am thinking of you today, and remembering your loved one and the incredible impact he/she had on our lives.
  • One of the characteristics I admire most…
  • I always looked up to him/her because…  

Make a donation

Was the loved one involved in a specific charity, or was there an organization that was most impactful to them? Making a donation in their honor is a great way to pay tribute on the anniversary of their passing while providing help to someone in need. Consider sending a note to the family to share that you’ve made a gift in their loved one’s memory as this may bring them comfort and peace during a difficult time. 


One of the greatest gifts you can give is your time. Volunteering on the anniversary of the passing is a great way to give back to the community while honoring and remembering the person who has passed away. 

Make plans to meet for coffee or lunch 

Finding the time to take your friend out for lunch or coffee at their favorite place can be a great comfort on difficult dates. By simply spending quality time together you are showing your support in an actionable way. 

There are many ways to support the family on the anniversary of a loss. By choosing a personal way to show you care during this time, you may be able to help make the anniversary a more healing experience. 

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