For those of us grieving the loss of a loved one, Valentine’s Day can be difficult. It can heighten the awareness of your loss. And, it is everywhere. You can’t even go to the grocery store without being confronted with reminders of celebrations of love. There are hearts everywhere, and your heart is broken.

Death ends a life, but it doesn’t end the relationship we have with our loved ones who died. That feeling of love does not disappear. The love you shared will never die.

Below are some ideas to help you cope with the day.

Honour yourself

1) Ignore the “Rules”

Give yourself permission to grieve in whatever way works for you. Don’t let people pressure you into acting in a certain way. Contrary to what our society believes, there is no right way to grieve. Honor your process.

2) Eliminate Expectations.

Don’t should yourself. You feel how you feel and it’s okay.

3) Have a plan

Don’t let yourself be blindsided when the day arrives. Have a plan. Again – whatever works for you. You can make plans to see a friend, or stay at home.

4) Journal, Write it down.

Journaling can help you release those stored up feelings. Get them out of your head and onto paper. You can use pen and paper, keyboard, or even crayons to draw your thoughts as pictures. The point is, journaling will help to ease the pressure you are feeling. It will help you become more clear about what you are experiencing.

Honour Your Loved One

1) Decorate and light a special candle in his/her honour.

2) Write a Valentine’s Day love letter or note and burn it… watch the smoke rise to the heavens.

3) Create a Memory Box

Buy or decorate a box and spend the day filling it with special mementos of your relationship. As you do this, take the time to remember what the mementos symbolize to you. Immerse yourself in the power of remembrance.

And above all remember:

Be Gentle with yourself! Be Kind to yourself! Allow the Grief in.

Denise Torgerson
Community Programs