Oh boy, another “event” Valentine’s Day. Another reason to feel the absence of the person we have lost. For most families Valentine’s Day can be an occasion for joy and for sharing the love we have for one another. For some it is simply a reason to buy chocolate.

For a grieving person, it can be brutal. This holiday magnifies our aloneness. It magnifies the feelings we have around the loss. The sadness, the loneliness, the frustration, and even for some the helplessness. If only the world would just stop celebrating. It hurts too much.

Make a plan. If this is a day that you celebrated with your person, make a plan. Do not let it sneak up and hit you on the head. Even if the plan is to stay in bed or to purposely ignore the day and distract yourself. It is still a plan.

If you can though, perhaps you can write a love letter to your person. It is in allowing ourselves to connect with our person that we might find solace. Or perhaps not a love letter. One of the grief clients that we support told me about a journal entry where she allowed herself to be angry at her husband. I love that. Or perhaps have a spa day. Find a way to focus on your own self-care. It might be a sleep in, or a great meal, or reaching out to friends for support.

Acknowledge that this might be a hard day for you. Take the steps you need to care for yourself. Don’t be surprised if you feel emotional, let it happen. Be kind to yourself, give yourself permission to get through the day in the way that best suits you. We are all different, so will have different needs. Allow yourself to get your needs met.

Be Gentle,

Denise Torgerson
Community Programs