Looking for help on what to do: Anniversary of my dad’s death

This is going to be a short post. Because I’m asking for your help and I don’t want to blather on and on.

This weekend is the second anniversary of my dad’s sudden death. And I don’t know what to do with myself.

I’m not sleeping. I’m starting to panic. I don’t know how to mark the day or what to do. Or what not to do. I can’t do nothing and act like it’s a normal day. But I’m at a loss.

I think last year was easier in some ways. My husband and kids and I went to my childhood home and hung out with my mom. We went to my dad’s favorite restaurant and had a nice dinner. My mom and I made a beautiful planter for his grave.

It was hard, of course. Really sad. But being at places that had my dad in them – his house, the restaurant, even the cemetery – gave me a tiny amount of peace.

This year I am not going to be there. I am hundreds of miles away.

My mom will be alone. I feel horrible about that.

I was hoping to spend the day at home, outside, gardening in the shade garden my dad created for me. But it is going to be cold and raining.

The only thing I can think of is going shopping for garden things for the shade garden (a bench, a fountain, something like that) but that doesn’t feel quite right.

I can’t go to church. I will spend the whole time bawling and everyone will stare at me and I don’t want that.

I don’t have siblings to connect with. Well, I have a half-sister, but that’s another story.

I feel lost. I am getting very anxious. I don’t know what to do.

I am dreading the day and afraid I am going to spend it sobbing, hiding from my children, aching for the 24 hours to pass.

Do you have any ideas on what I could do this Sunday? Have any of you lost a parent? What do you do on the tough days like the day of the parent’s passing or birthday?

Any ideas would be most appreciated, whether you’ve been in this situation or not. I’ll reply to your responses in the comments (something I normally do but I’ve been overwhelmed lately and falling behind).

Thanks so much – JD