Three years ago, on Valentine’s Day my sister, Caren, passed away. She was only 50-years-old. My sole sibling and, like me, an adoptive mom.
As Valentine’s draws near, I want to enjoy the day for what it represents–a day to show those we love just how much we love them. But for me, Valentine’s Day is also a day when I nurse a broken heart. If you’ve experienced the loss of someone you loved, here are a six things you might try:
Keep yourself busy. Get out of the house, if you can, and do activities you love. Try to be in the company of friends and family. Go somewhere beautiful.
Mentally prepare yourself. In the U.S. it is impossible to go anywhere during the month of February without seeing Valentine’s Day reminders. But, for all the build-up, it is just one day.
Let yourself feel. Grief can take over when you least expect. Things aren’t always okay–and that’s okay. Remember the person you loved and give yourself permission to feel emotions that arise.
Avoid the obvious. Listening to “your song,” watching romantic movies, going to places that were your “your places”–probably not the best idea. Likewise, think twice before dining solo at a restaurant on Valentine’s Day. Get take-out instead or cook something simple–but maybe not the foods that were “your favorites” together.
Celebrate your relationships–all of them. Friends, kids, grandparents, co-workers–remind yourself love is a “many-splendored thing”–and Valentine’s Day isn’t the only day to say “I love you.”
Love yourself! Sometimes the person who needs the most loving kindness is you. Don’t be stingy. Take stock of everything that still brings you joy. Cut yourself some slack. Treat yourself to something special. Count your blessings.
The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.
~In memory of my sister Caren~
It’s all about the journey,