...7 years out looks like.
If you were 9 when your parents died, you are now 16 and have matured enough to understand your loss in more depth. You have a panic attack at school 6 days out from the anniversary and need to come home, where you cuddle on the couch with the kitten in your uncles t-shirt, watch Return of the Jedi and baby talk at various point in the afternoon.
If you are a grieving 20 year old, you continue to push away all your emotions regarding that day while simultaneously pushing away those who love you because everything just hurts too much.
Teenage boy cousins try to be there for their siblings while trying to hide their own emotions about the day and our loss. The are "forced" by their 16 year old cousin to provide tons of hugs.
9 year olds who have lived with loss, grief, and stress for most of their lives are fairly anxious and still worry about something happening to "their" family. Conversations about death are a constant companion.
Most friends don't remember the exact day anymore. The annual Facebook post of pictures from balloon day will remind them. They will comment that they can't believe it's been 7 years, while you still feel like the accident happened yesterday.
You will think about the accident every. single. day. You will still be shocked when at times the feelings of grief sneak up on you and pierce your heart.
You still think about what your life and your children's life would be like if the accident never happened. This makes you sad.
You worry that you haven't done enough to memorialize their death. Adopting their kids doesn't seem like enough.
Nobody really understands how this feels. Illogically feeling like the accident is going to happen again. Relieving the moments before and after and wondering how the accident actually happened. Why? Why? Why?
You do know that the anxiety and stress the day before is worse than the actual day. You plan things for that day to be kind to yourself.
Even though it's been 7 years, you never stop remembering. You never stop grieving. And you certainly never stop loving...that's the only thing that keeps you going.