Surviving the holidays was a tall task, but thank God you were able to cope. Now, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and just when you thought you were doing okay and heading back to some form of normalcy a day for celebrating couples has cause a relapse in grief. Don’t be so hard on yourself, just like anniversaries, and other holidays, Valentine’s Day is a difficult time for those who have loss a spouse, significate other, life partner, close friend, or going through a divorce. In many instances revisiting grief during this time is highly likely, even though you are trying so hard to not be down. Yet, the commercial world will not let you ignore the approaching big day no matter how hard you try. Not only is love in the air, but store shelves are stocked with pink and red themed greeting cards, balloons, flowers, candies, and cookies. It’s then when it will dawn on you that you won’t be able to share this special day with the one you love. At that moment you may be bombarded with a ton of uninvited emotions. It’s natural to feel what you are feeling and more importantly you need no permission to miss the wonderful person you were blessed to have shared life with. This blog is intended to offer you a few suggestions that may help you cope with getting through a day of love without the one you love.
1. Make a plan prior to Valentine’s Day of things to do that will keep your mind occupied. Having a plan will also provide comfort in having some form of control.
2. Treat yourself to a day at the spa. Get a massage, manicure, or pedicure. These suggestions could never replace your loved one, but they are of great combat for dealing with stress.
3. Because your loved one has passed, you don’t have to totally avoid participating in Valentine’s Day. The love you both shared still and will forever exist. If you are feeling up to it, you can find a way to commemorate your loved one and the love you shared. Visit their grave site baring flowers, give or volunteer at your loved one’s favorite charity. Giving a donation in honor of your loved one can do wonders for your psych and a beautiful way to continue to share the bond you have. Remember love never dies.
4. If getting out and about is still difficult. It’s okay to stay at home. Fix yourself your favorite meal, rent a comedy movie. Snuggle up in your comfy blanket with a cup of coffee, or tea, and a great book. Bottom line, give yourself permission to focus on you and your needs. If you are not up to doing that, it’s still okay to feel sad.
5. Be open and honest about what you are feeling. Plan a meal with your family, friends, or ask them to join you in going to see a movie. This is a great way to celebrate others in your life and not spending Valentine’s Day alone. Whatever you choose to do remember to be safe.
6. Volunteer, at your local homeless shelter, or nursing home spend the day helping other. Not only will you be putting a smile on the faces of others, but your heart will smile too. Being able to help someone in need and seeing the warm hearted appreciation extended to you because of your desire to help someone else is the very thread running thru Valentine’s Day which is love.
7. If you have children, don’t leave them out. Children grieve too and they will need you to help them cope. Be open, honest, and unafraid to acknowledge how much you miss your loved one. Check the pulse of your children to see how they are feeling as well. You are still a family and the kids will need assurance more than ever in knowing and feeling that. Plan an activity that you can do together or better yet plan a movie night with the kids full of popcorn and pizza. They’ll love you for it and so will you.
8. This is one of my favorites. Set out to show acts of kindness to strangers throughout the day. Pay for someone’s coffee, or lunch.
9. Have faith, hope, and trust that next year this time things will be better or easier to cope with. Pray and ask God to help you resume a life of living, loving, and laughing again.
10. If needed talk to a professional counselor, your pastor, or close friend. Be honest and unafraid to express the grief you are feeling.