Each holiday is difficult after you have lost someone you love. I specifically use present tense for, “love,” because you never stop loving. Especially during your first year, it’s hard to experience each holiday as it comes and goes. For Valentine’s Day, you may hold a special ache in your heart for your sweetheart; however, L.O.V.E. will get you through!
Listen: Your body communicates with you. Listen to it. If your body is crippled with anxiety, don’t force yourself out of the house. If you know that the 14th will be a day better spent in bed, make the accommodations and treat your self! Make sure you’ve got a RedBox, Take-out, and your comfiest clothes ready to go.
Open Up: It’s okay to be open about how hard this holiday, and others for that matter, is for you. You can dedicate a special post to your loved one on Facebook and ask others to share their memories. This way, it becomes a safe space to remember the good times and connect with your social network. If you prefer a more individualized connection, reach out to “your person,” whether they be a friend, neighbor, son, daughter, sister, etc. Express your feelings of loss and heartache and share some good memories that you’ve missed the most.
Venture Out: Take your grandkids out to breakfast! Go to lunch with your daughter! Bring some take-out to your son’s office. Make a fancy dinner at home with your kiddos! If you need a little extra special in your day—plan it! It doesn’t matter if it’s the day before or after, get it on the calendar and focus on the good feelings surrounding it. It can be simple or extravagant, tailor it to your comfort level.
Enjoy: Seems easier said than done, but the key is to throw any preconceived notions of how things should be out the window. Do what makes you happy and comfortable. I was once given the advice that when you have a bad day, you should serve some else on that day. It seemed backwards at the time, but I tried it. I was having a, “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day,” and I chose to go to the super market, pick up some fresh flowers, and deliver them to a few friends as a surprise. The reality is that I was the one surprised at how quickly my day turned around for the better. Do things you with enjoy!
The holidays have a range from being the best time of the year to bittersweet to downright depressing. Wherever you are on your grief and healing journey, we hope you find peace and love this Tuesday.