Valentine’s Day can be a beautiful opportunity to celebrate your relationships, whether your loved ones are here with you or whether they have been gone for some time. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be filled with feelings of despair, numbness, or sadness that comes when grieving the loss of a loved one.
Valentine’s Day can be a special time of remembrance, an opportunity to reflect on the love you shared and to 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 deal with grief on Valentine’s Day and all year-long:
Take Time to Honor and Remember the Person You Love
Do something special in memory of your loved one, and celebrate their life and the time that you had together. You may want to look through photographs, listen to their favorite song, or watch their favorite movie. This would also be a good opportunity to visit the graveside and bring a fresh bouquet of flowers.
Have Some Quiet Time
Take deep breaths and 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. Breathwork and meditation is another great tool for managing grief. Find a quiet spot and focus on your breathing. If this is hard for you, check out one of the many free guided breathwork sessions provided by Indri Tulusan of Breathe Into Being You by joining her exclusive Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/breatheandshine
Talk About How You’re Feeling
Your friends and family care. Don’t be afraid that you’re going to “bring them down” if you talk honestly about the sadness that you’re experiencing during a culturally-sanctioned “happy” time of year. If you need some time to get something off your chest, this is perfectly acceptable. You shouldn’t feel guilty for taking time to express your grief around others.
Spend Time with Loved Ones
While it is good to spend some time in solitude and reflection, it is also important to find a healthy balance. Find opportunities to socialize with people who support you and care about you. Go out to dinner or prepare a meal together. Meals are communal experiences, opportunities to show love and support. You might even enjoy a favorite comedic film or television show together. Remember: couples aren’t the only people who can celebrate and have fun on Valentine’s Day.
If you don’t have someone to bring you flowers and candy, there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to something special on Valentine’s Day! Get a massage, choose a beautiful bouquet to brighten your home, or pick out your favorite chocolates or dessert. This is a day to spoil yourself and enjoy a little self-care, especially if you are missing someone special.
Join a Grief Support Group
If your friends and family are unable to support you at this time, or if you just want to connect with others who are going through the same thing you are, join a support group or find a counselor to talk to.
GriefShare is a support group that meets weekly virtually and in-person. You’ll find it to be a warm, caring environment and will come to see your group as an “oasis” on your long journey through grief. Click here to learn more: https://www.rouppfuneralhome.com/griefshare
Highmark Caring Place is a Center for Grieving Children, Adolescents and Their Families. It’s also a safe place where grieving children and families can come together and be with others who understand what they’re going through. An essential community resource, the Caring Place offers services at no charge to grieving families from throughout the community both in person and virtually. Click here to learn more: https://www.highmarkcaringplace.com/
Dealing with grief during any holiday is never fun, but with these tips, you can begin the healing process in a healthy way and continue these traditions for years to come. If you need more coping mechanisms, check out our online grief guide and follow us on Facebook.