It’s February and Valentine’s Day is upon us! I wish nothing more for you than your heart to be filled with love.
For the dating, newly in love or for those together or married for a long time, Valentine’s Day is tremendously special for many to acknowledge and celebrate their love. Everywhere you turn, advertisements entice us with romantic dinners, jewelry, flowers and chocolate. You can’t seem to get away from it.
However, for those who are grieving the death of their spouse, partner, lover, fiancé or a break-up of any kind, a visit from Cupid is far from welcome. In fact, the constant barrage of the media flashing love and couples in one’s face can make the sadness, loneliness, and longing for the lost relationship almost unbearable.
Here’s something to keep in mind, because of your relationship, you have been blessed, you have loved. You have lived with, shared, embraced and experienced all the ebb and flow that is love. That is in and of itself a beautiful gift and one that is to be cherished.
Love never dies. It is not meant to end. It is a constant and is reflected in everything and everyone if we can only keep reminding ourselves of this truth and not close ourselves off when we get hurt. Love lives before, during and after death and loss. It is always there and will heal your grief if you will let it. It’s hard to see love’s presence when you are engulfed in pain and overwhelming grief. But rest assured it is there.
So now that Valentine’s Day is here, what do you do to get through this day of love? Please allow me to share some tips that may help to make the day more tolerable and less unbearable:
- Handle the day in whatever way feels right to you – there is no right or wrong way to plan this day without your spouse or partner. You decide if you would like to be alone, lost in your own thoughts or surrounded with family or friends. It’s all up to you whether you want to continue your usual Valentine celebrations or create something new for yourself.
- Give yourself permission to feel your feelings – today of all days, is not a day to berate yourself for anything you are feeling. Valentine’s Day is not the same for anyone without the one they care about. It is good grieving to acknowledge that you are longing for your loved one, how sad you are feeling as well as the joy inside for having been part of a loving relationship.
- Honor your relationship – Death and loss does not mean the end of the love you shared, it just means you can no longer express it as you did. The beauty of any relationship and the real measure of comfort is that the relationship was based on love and today is a great day to celebrate that love i.e. write a letter to your loved one and release it tied to a balloon; light a candle in their honor; share stories of your love with family and friends; reminisce, cry, laugh. Celebrate your love story for however long it lasted.
- Love and pamper yourself – be appreciative of everything about you and all the love and effort you put into your relationship. Write down five wonderful qualities about you and read them out loud over and over. Look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I love you; you are a really magical, exciting, wonderful and beautiful person deserving of much love and happiness.” Focus on feel-good things and treat yourself to something special. Buy yourself something unique. Perhaps a piece of jewelry or some other symbol that you can look at and carry with you as a daily reminder of how much you love and admire yourself.
- Change how you think about Valentine’s Day – Don’t think of this day as the day for lovers but as a day to express your love to everyone that is important to you. Don’t let the emphasis on being a couple and being in a relationship intimidate you. You decide if and when you want to pursue another relationship. Keep your heart open.
- If you are hurting very badly and cannot face this day – That’s okay. Go at your own pace and do what you can. If the theme of love and romance is too much, plan a different activity… read a book, call a friend, clean a messy closet, go for a walk, etc. do something to distract yourself in the moment.
- – Your grief is your own journey and if facing this day is just too much, don’t isolate yourself or pretend you’re okay. Talk to someone who will listen without judgment and allow you to get your feelings out.
I hope some of these tips will be beneficial to you. Most of all, I wish you love on this Valentine’s Day. Love for yourself, love for the blessing of having loved and been loved and love for all there is to come