Grieving the death of someone you love is often very difficult and can be even more so as Valentine’s Day approaches. This day can be a painful reminder of the loss of love, affection, and physical intimacy. Yet, it can also be a day to honor that love and recognize the presence of love currently in your life.
Sometimes the anticipation of these special days causes the most anxiety. Making a plan for the day may help decrease the worry of how you’ll “get through the day.” Below are some helpful suggestions to alleviate your anxiety and address your grief during this holiday:
A “valentine” gives you a chance to express your appreciation and admiration for the traits that drew you to your loved one. Writing those traits down, reading them aloud, or slipping the valentine into your pocket can help you celebrate their spirit and your relationship history.
- Honor your loved one by making a favorite meal or creating a symbolic token as a means of memorializing the love you shared
Maybe you and your loved one always went out for Thai food on Valentine’s Day or you remember how he loved novelty neckties. You can keep these traditions alive on a smaller scale as a way to honor your loved one, and the memories you shared.
- Perform an act of kindness in your loved one’s name.
Valentine’s Day is also part of Random Acts of Kindness Week, which is dedicated to celebrating the little things that we can do for others. Consider providing a thoughtful “random act of kindness. Keep it simple, and be fully present in the moment of extending kindness and love to others. Giving often helps us feel more connected.
- Treat yourself.
Set aside time to appreciate yourself by doing something special or indulge in some pampering. Not only is the ritual of self-care important when you are grieving, this is also a way to recognize what your loved one would have expressed to you.
Finally, keep your expectations of this day realistic. Valentine’s Day can be a challenging day for many people, even in the best of times. Expectations are high, often requiring us to reflect on the most important, and often complex, relationships in our lives. This year, give yourself time to grieve, to reflect, to celebrate, to remember and to honor yourself, your loved ones and your relationships. We also encourage you to visit our Living With Loss webpage to find a support group near you that can offer additional help during this, and other challenging, times of the year.