Grief and Valentine’s Day

Monday, 14 February 2022

Special days often trigger powerful emotions and memories regardless of how much time has passed since the loss of a loved one. A holiday reaction or anniversary response can occur because you associate a date on the calendar or the event itself with someone significant.

For anyone mourning a loss, Valentine’s Day can feel particularly cruel because it emphasises togetherness, love, and romance. But Valentine’s Day can also be a special time of remembrance, an opportunity to reflect on the love you shared and find comfort in memories. With a little bit of planning, it is possible to find avenues for healing during this time.

Here are a few ideas to help you breathe a little easier on Valentine’s Day:

Commemorate the memory of your beloved

Love doesn’t go away, and we never forget. Nor would we want to. Do something special in memory of your loved one, celebrate their life and the time you had together. You may want to look through old photographs, listen to their favourite song, or watch their favourite movie. Taking a little time to reflect on the past can be a healthy way to cope with the holiday but do so in a way that feels right for you.

Have some quiet time

Allow yourself to feel whatever it is that you need to feel. If painful emotions come to the surface, find a healthy way to express those emotions. Remember, it’s okay if you need to cry. Grief journaling can also be a very effective way to channel your feelings during this season. Find a comfortable location and pour out your thoughts on paper. You might try listing all the things you are grateful for having experienced with your loved one.

Spend time with loved ones

While is it good to spend some time in solitude and reflection, it is also important to find a healthy balance. Find opportunities to socialise with people who support you and care about you. Go out to dinner or prepare a meal together. Numerous studies have shown that laughter plays an important role in lowering stress, improving mood, and strengthening relationships. By taking time to laugh with people you love, you take a healing step, and the stress of the holiday becomes a little easier to handle.

Treat yourself

If you don’t have someone to bring you flowers and candy, there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to something special on Valentines Day. This is a day to spoil yourself and enjoy a little self-care, especially if you’re missing someone special.

These are just a few ideas, do what feels right for you. This Valentine’s Day, allow space for the joy of their memories and the power of their love to share the space with the pain of them not being with you. Most importantly, no matter how you wind up spending Valentine’s Day, please be kind to yourself. Your grieving heart deserves it.