Watch Out! Here Comes Another Holiday.

Heart Shaped Candy Box next to Bouquet of Roses

Fresh off the challenges of managing your grief through the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays without your loved one by your side, here comes Valentine’s Day. This holiday is especially difficult when someone has lost their spouse or life partner who they may have enjoyed years of Valentine’s Day celebrations together.

Just as with other difficult times of year such as birthdays and anniversaries, it does help to prepare. Be aware that these days may bring on stronger emotions than the grief you feel every day. Here are a few ideas to help you through:

  1. Develop a plan for how you want to spend the day. You may decide you want to be alone to remember your loved, going through photos, listening to music or writing a letter to the one you are missing. You may also want share the day with family or friends. It’s best to make your desires known and plan ahead.
  2. Did you and your partner have a Valentine’s Day tradition, like sending flowers or chocolates, or going out for a special meal? Perhaps you can treat yourself or find someone else who may be grieving and start a new tradition.
  3. You can show yourself some kindness by extending someone else a kindness. There are certainly others in your life who would appreciate some companionship or need comforting on this day as well. Maybe reach out to an organization that has a special event planned and could use some help.
  4. Whether you choose to be alone, or with someone else, consider making (or sharing) a list of all the ways your loved one enriched your life and continues to have an impact on the person you are.
  5. Lastly, don’t be afraid to be sad. Missing someone who was an important part of your life is hard. Give yourself some latitude and allow yourself to grieve on Valentine’s Day and any other day you choose.