Valentine's Day and Lost Love
Valentine’s Day is one of love, and celebrating your relationship with your significant other. But after the death of a loved one, Valentine’s Day can be a day of pain. Reminders of love in the form of heart-shaped chocolate boxes flood stores. It can be hard to escape the feelings of being lonely on Valentine’s Day. What can you do to alleviate the grief that Valentine’s day might bring you?
Spend the Day with Friends or Family
Invite a group of people over for a casual get together or dinner party. Plan a night out with others who have experienced the same loss. It could be those related to you or your loved one; or just people who have experienced a similar loss. Acknowledge the day is hard, but try to make it your goal to have fun and laugh. Go to the movies and see a comedy, have a game night, bowl, go to a comedy club, sing karaoke. Try to keep each other feeling positive.
Allow your children to pick an activity. Let them dream as big as your budget will allow.
Your Children and Losing a Parent
Grieving children need opportunities to have some fun, and seeing them smile will help make you feel better. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that being together as a family highlights who is missing. Take every chance you get to remember and talk about your loved one, even if it’s just to say “Dad/Mom would have loved this”. Do activities that your kids used to do with your spouse.
It may sound selfish, but Valentine’s Day can be hard for those who feel alone. Find ways to treat yourself to something you might not otherwise.It may be a spa treatment, or some retail therapy. Just focus on making yourself happy. Set aside time to engage in any activity that helps you cope with grief – exercise, yoga, journaling, art, etc.
Take the Day to Grieve
This may seem counter intuitive, but sometimes you need a day to yourself to be sad and really let your emotions out. It can be healthy to express feelings of grief; like sadness, and even anger. Cry it out. Watch a sad movie, go through old photos of your loved one. Allowing yourself to let out those feelings can be cathartic. Acknowledge your loved one’s passing, and allow yourself to cry for as long as you like. We all have our own rituals and reminders that make us feel close to deceased loved ones.
Look to the Future
Grief is difficult. Loss can be painful. It is good to look towards what is to come. It is important to believe that next year will be a little bit easier. Valentine’s day can remind us of lost love; but it can also be another milestone towards recovering from loss.
The author of this post is not a professional therapist or counselor. For assistance in finding a grief counselor that is right for you, there are a number of resources out there. For our Grief Resource center, written by Dr. Bill Webster, click here.
For almost 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.