Grief is a normal reaction to loss, and it is a unique experience for each individual, just as each relationship is itself one of a kind. The many memories attached to the special days mean that holidays often intensify grief. Valentine’s Day can be especially hard for those who spent the day with their spouse, partner or significant other in the past.
Our hearts remain full of love but also are broken. Valentine’s Day was a special holiday that honored the love you shared. Memories of Valentine’s Day cards, dinners, and expressions of love that are now memories come flooding back and a longing for the chance to tell your loved one more time how much they were loved and cherished.
There are multiple ways to choose to spend the day when grief and the anticipation of hard moments comes in waves. Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate giving and receiving love of all kinds. Some helpful ways to acknowledge your grief and give love include:
- Make a special dessert that your spouse or partner enjoyed.
- Invite a group of people over for a casual get-together.
- Plan an evening out with others who have experienced the same loss. Go watch a funny movie or visit a comedy club.
- Choose to do five random acts of kindness during the day. If your loved one enjoyed chocolate, give out chocolate. If they loved roses, give out roses. Speak your loved one’s name when you gift someone with kindness.
- Tell five people in your life what they mean to you.
- Write a letter to an organization you support to tell them how much you appreciate the work they’re doing. Enclose a donation if you’re able.
- Volunteer at an animal shelter. The unconditional love you’ll receive from a puppy is priceless!
- Treat yourself to a spa day, a large sundae, a juicy steak, or whatever makes you smile.
- Take time to reflect on how far you’ve come since your loved one’s death and how you are honoring them by choosing to go forward with life. Take time to plan how you will intentionally choose to love others in the coming year.
The Ohio’s Hospice Pathways of Hope staff is ready to support you in your grief and help you with a plan for coping well. For more information, visit https://www.ohioshospice.org/pathwaysofhope/.