After you lose someone you love, the first Thanksgiving or the first Christmas without them can be rough, because their absence is so conspicuous. But at least that’s a loss shared by other loved ones who feel their absence too. An anniversary – especially of a relationship those loved ones don’t recognize – can be a very solitary experience.

We weren’t together for 50 years or whatever. We met only 20 years ago, and were together for just a handful of years. Those were full of ups and downs. But they were in many ways the best part of my life. I missed him most acutely on the first anniversary he was gone, but I miss him still.