It may seem particularly cruel when you are bombarded with the commercialism of the ‘Couples Holiday’ when you have lost someone you’ve loved. Reminders of hearts and flowers, moonlight, romance and, togetherness can seem like torture while we are suffering our own major loss. The isolation is palpable. We feel compelled to ‘put on a brave face’ and to celebrate our friends and family’s good fortune to enjoy the grand permission to celebrate their affection!
I like to think that the holiday’s ‘grand permission’ for the good fortune of those around us to celebrate, can also allow us to “break a few rules”. Plan, just for today…to give yourself permission to display your grief. Not a major billboard type display. A display that will embrace the grief that you have partnered with since the loss of your loved one. Dedicate the day to exposing all of your feelings. It doesn’t have to be for ‘all the world to see’…but it should give you an opportunity to dedicate the day to the loved one lost. Though there is no particular or correct way to grieve…choose a way to symbolize the loss of your Valentine that will memorialize your feelings for your lost Valentine
If you haven’t had the energy to begin a journal, Valentines Day can be an opportunity to start. Your deep-seated emotions will be bubbling to the surface. Expressing these feelings can be a great method of release when put to paper. Write down everything that you are feeling. The good, the bad and the ugly. Keep that journal as you move forward on your journey…Prepare to be amazed when you read that journal next Valentines Day.
You can also use Valentines Day to pamper yourself. While grieving, we often lack the energy or desire to maintain a little self-love. Let this be the new beginning of a pattern of starting a hobby you’ve always wanted to try. Change your hairstyle. Choose a friend to begin a new tradition of meeting once-a-week for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Take up golf. Dedicate some time for yourself and know that you have your Valentine’s support.
Use Valentines Day to “share the love”. A positive step in the grieving process can include memorializing your loved one. Donate some time or talent to a cause that was near and dear to your loved one’s heart! Begin a pattern of giving your time to a cause, on a weekly basis, that you can do in honor of your loved one. Meals on Wheels, working at the local soup kitchen, walking dogs at the local ASPCA or just supporting an organization that promotes humanitarian efforts in your community. Doing these things in honor of our Valentine can go a long way in bringing joy to our own hearts!