Broken Hearts at Valentines Day
Valentine’s day can trigger emotions of grief no matter how long it has been since a loved one has passed. For anyone who has suffered a loss, this day can be especially challenging, a day that focuses on love and romance, if you are grieving a loved one, this day be a can be especially hard.
When we have suffered loss days, take on new meaning, especially holidays. Days once filled with happiness can now cause emotions of dread knowing that we are not able to celebrate these days as we once did.
Valentine’s Day may be one of these days where the pain of our loss hits us like a tidal wave. We first celebrated this day as children, putting names on valentines for our classmates to sharing flowers and candy and special moments. A day where love is to be celebrated but for those who grieve can bring the pangs of grief to the surface.
If you are facing this pain, this day will be different for you but also a day where you can focus on the memories and remember the love you shared. Though your loved one has passed, the love shared will never die.
As someone who has had six Valentine’s Day without my loved one, I have learned that having a plan to reduce the anxiety and focus on the memories has been helpful towards both my healing and finding joy in the love I have that never dies. Below are a few ways you can cope with grief on Valentine’s Day:
Be Your Valentine:
I understand this sounds cliché, and you may wonder why or how. Grief takes an emotional toll on us not only physically but emotionally. I found several key things that helped me refocus the day to one manageable and ultimately beautiful. Self-love is a gift you deserve and one that your loved one would want for you. Pay attention to your physical and emotional needs, eat healthily, get sleep and exercise. I also found that meditation and being out in nature was helpful to me. Take deep breathes and feel whatever you need to feel, journal your thoughts and memories, and cry if you must.
You may not have someone who is there to bring your flowers or candy, and that is okay. Do it for you, order a bouquet with a card to you from you, go for a massage, or get your nails done, even play sports that you love! How amazing is that, spoil yourself with candy and self-love. I understand the day will not be the same, but a simple act of love and kindness from you and to you can help brighten your day.
Spend time with loved ones:
It can be natural to want to be alone on Valentine’s Day, while others are enjoying the romance. Though it is beneficial to spend time alone and reflect on your loss, it is just as important to find a place of balance.
It may be hard, but socializing can be beneficial, especially with those who love and care about you. It can be hard at first but spending time with those who care and support you may be what you need. Plan a meal with family or friends, let the ones who are essential know what you are feeling and help you through the day. A thing that helped me was to send Valentine’s Day cards to my family and friends, doing this put a new perspective on love that reaches past the loss of our loved ones but also to remember and embrace the love of family and friends who support me and whom I love.
Honor Your Loved One:
As you may know from now, I made it my life to honor my loved one. If you go to joythroughjoy.com and read the about it on my website https://joythroughjoy.com/mikes-story/.
If you can reframe your mind to focus on ways to honor the memory of your loved one, while also appreciating that you are and will always face the loss, you may find a way to balance the grief and peace and loving memories. A few ideas that can help you honor your loved one can include planting a tree, create a memory plaque or flower garden, donate to a charity your loved one embraced. I find journaling is a great way to relieve my anxious thoughts. But you could also do other things like donating blood, and I do an annual Blood Drive in Michael’s memory. There are things you can do, or you may want to light a candle or journal your thoughts. Whatever you decide to do, whether for you or someone else, make sure it works for you.
Lastly, plan for the day to just by “the day.” It is okay to not celebrate, it is okay to feel sad, and it is okay to curl up in bed with popcorn and TV if that is what you need. Grief is hard, and you can and will make it through the day. Focus on you, focus on memories, and focus on the fact you have a life to live and love that never dies. Top of Form
Love and Peace,