Coping with Grief on Valentine’s Day
Holidays can be very difficult for those who have lost a loved one. Valentine’s Day can be especially hard if you are mourning the death of your spouse or partner. Stores decorated in pink and red, emphasizing love and romance, can feel especially cruel for someone filled with grief and loneliness, regardless of how much time has passed since their partner’s death.
If the holiday is a struggle for you or someone you know, these tips can help you cope with grief on Valentine’s Day.
Tips for Valentine’s Day and Grief
You’re Allowed to Be Sad
If Valentine’s Day triggers powerful feelings and memories, you don’t always need to put on a brave face. It’s okay to stay home and grieve. One helpful way to process those feelings of grief on Valentine’s Day is to write about your emotions and memories. Journaling can help organize your thoughts and capture the beautiful memories of your time with your partner and how much they meant to you.
Celebrate in a New, Sacred Way
Start your own tradition to honor your deceased loved one on Valentine’s Day. Some ways to honor a lost loved one include placing flowers at the cemetery, lighting a candle for them either in church or in your home, or making a donation in their memory to a charity that was meaningful for both of you.
Ignore Valentine’s Day
Despite how stores and restaurants make it seem, not everyone celebrates Valentine’s Day. You can ignore it altogether if that’s what you prefer. Stay home and enjoy a book or dinner and Netflix. Just because it’s on the calendar, doesn’t mean you have to acknowledge it. After all, when’s the last time you went out to dinner for Arbor Day?
Attend an Anti-Valentine’s Day Event
You’re not the only one who isn’t having a fun Valentine’s Day. Anti-Valentine’s Day concerts and events have become increasingly popular for those who reject the trappings of the holiday. You’re allowed to do something fun if that’s what will help you cope with grief on Valentine’s Day.
Sometimes the best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is through self-love. Treat yourself to a good meal or soothing massage. Invite a friend to join you for a cup of tea. Take a yoga class or work out at the gym. Step away from the busyness of life and focus on you.
How to Help a Grieving Friend on Valentine’s Day
The most important way to help a grieving friend is to let them know you’re there for them while honoring their choices. You can invite them to join you for a quiet evening at home eating pizza and watching television or for a dinner party with a small group of friends. But if they prefer to do their own thing, respect that decision.
If your friend is a parent who is struggling with the loss of their partner, offer to help with the kids by taking them out for dinner or a simple activity like bowling. Give your friend the option of joining the group or taking some time for themselves on Valentine’s Day.
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