You’ve seen the heart shaped balloons, cards, stuffed animals and candies and you know that Valentine’s Day is coming. All these reminders of romantic love can be difficult when your beloved has died. It can feel lonely to not have your partner when it feels like the world is full of happy couples making dinner dates and exchanging gifts. Each family celebrates holidays in their own ways and any holiday can be a painful reminder of what used to be for children, too. A child could miss making homemade Valentine’s Day cards with her crafty mom or miss the big boxes of chocolates dad brought home for everyone each year.
This Valentine’s Day, if you know someone who is grieving, reach out to them and let them know others are holding love in their heart for them. It can be a simple note such as “I have been thinking about you as Valentine’s Day approaches and just wanted to send some love your way.” Or if you have memories to share, send them a note with something you loved about their person: “One of the things I loved about your husband was his sense of fun and his big belly laugh. I remember the time we all….”
If you are grieving, you may want to think of ways to focus on the legacy of your love. You could journal or write a letter using prompts such as “What I loved about you…" and “What I think you loved about me…” Try to be gentle with yourself and find a way to celebrate (or ignore!) Valentine’s Day that feels right for you.
For more ideas on how to plan for and acknowledge Valentine’s Day or any holiday, check out Bo's Place's tip sheet on "Helping Grieving Families Through the Holidays." Click here.
This article was featured in the Bo's Place February Newsletter.
Bo’s Place exists to enhance the lives of those who have experienced the death of a loved one.
A Houston area non-profit, free-of-charge bereavement center, Bo’s Place offers multiple grief support services for adults, children and families, and provides education and resources for those who assist people in grief. Click here to learn more about Bo's Place.