Valentine’s Day is often seen as the day we take to recognize and celebrate love, and couples. Special days in society, such as Valentine’s Day, can often trigger many memories and emotions for those who have experienced the death of a loved one…regardless of how much time has passed.
For those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, Valentine’s Day may feel especially cruel. We most often view this day as one that celebrates couples, love and romance. It is most often associated with being a “couples” day of celebrating love. While I may want to skip from February 13th to the 15th, it just doesn’t seem to work well, trust me on this one, I have tried.
It is helpful for me to remember that there is not “right way” to mourn the loss of my beloved. This is a journey that has not list of rules and is as individual as the relationship that we enjoyed.
It may be possible for some to avoid Valentine’s Day all together. If this is you, perhaps you can take the day off and hunker down. In Minnesota right now, it may be very practical given the snow storms and sub zero temps!
I have come to a place where I am able to embrace the day. I having identified a few ways to recognize Valentine’s Day in ways and with meanings that give me comfort.
It may be helpful to mark this day for those who have lost a loved one by honoring our beloved. It can be taking the time to volunteer, giving blood, visiting a care center or nursing home or reaching out to someone who may be missing their beloved as well. Perhaps you can spend the day doing something that brought joy to our beloved.
Sending cards to those who may appreciate being thought of can be very welcome on this day. My husband was a rural mail carrier. I love to send cards! Dave would speak of his work as “delivering dreams”. He appreciated my love of mailing cards rather than a text or email. Most people I know still love to receive a card in the mail, as do I.
If going out is enjoyable, invite someone who may also be alone this year to go out with you.
Let someone close to you know if this day is particularly difficult. Reach out to someone who has recently lost a beloved. Invite them to share their story of love.
Practice self-care. You deserve to be treated well. Take the time to enjoy what gives you pleasure; a hot bath, reading a book under a snuggly blanket, crafts or exercise.
Don’t be afraid to embrace your loss. Give yourself the space and time to cry, remember and be grateful for the wonderful love of your life.
I will be holding us all in prayer and sacred space this day. I will light a candle. I will be grateful for all those who we have loved and lost. I will Believe N Love! Geralyn
Geralyn Nathe-Evans has been called to the vocations of wife, mom, Lay Ecclesial Minister, nurse and friend.
I shared this with Faith Community Nurses. They often are a supportive person or a receiver of support as you describe. This am I walked with my friend Arlene. It is her sister’s wedding anniversary. Valentine’s wedding is so sweet. Her husband died 22 years ago. Arlene called her to show her care today. Her sister was looking at her wedding pictures. And she was having a cookie! for breakfast on a china plate from her wedding china, thinking of her love and her wedding day and her life with her husband. Wow, made me think, yes, people have ways of celebrating the love they do share and the love shared when one is gone, and it is so touching that love is so strong and memories are a blessing and traditions are a blessing.
So lovely to hear.
Thank you for stirring ideas for us.