Coping with Valentine’s Day: A Guide for the Bereaved

coping with valentine's day

Valentine’s Day is tough. Even for those who haven’t lost a loved one, the day can be an emotional trigger or stressful obligation. For those who have lost a loved one, the day serves as a solemn reminder that we are missing someone on this earth. Keep reading for some guidance on how to handle this unique holiday.

  1. Set your own expectations
    1. Like all holidays, Valentine’s Day carries with it a certain set of expectations. Especially in the years immediately after the death of a loved one, the loss of tradition and custom can come as a major shock. This is completely normal. However, a great way to deal with this new reality is to set new and realistic expectations for the holidays, including Valentine’s Day. If you don’t want to go out, then don’t go out. If you don’t want to watch a romantic movie, then don’t. The day and how you handle it is entirely up to you and your personal preference.
  2. Celebrate yourself
    1. Valentine’s Day is about love—and this includes self-love. Spend the day doing your favorite things or treating yourself to a new experience. Whether it’s going to the movie theater for a double feature or finally taking that art class you’ve been wanting to start, spending the day to truly love yourself and who you are is a great way to combat feelings of loneliness. Learn to love who you are as an individual child of God. So often, we define ourselves by our relationship with other people, whether we’re a wife, husband, sister, son, etc. Because of this, when we lose the people we are so connected to, we can lose our sense of self. Valentine’s Day can be a great opportunity to discover what makes you happy—so don’t be afraid to explore!
  3. Honor your loved one
    1. Of course, despite celebrating yourself, Valentine’s Day is sure to remind you of dearly departed loved ones. A nice way to remember those who are no longer on this earth is to do something in their honor. If you and your spouse always had a specific meal on Valentine’s Day, prepare a portion of that meal for yourself. If you exchanged gifts, buy something you know you spouse would have enjoyed and donate it to a worthy cause. You can also honor them in other ways—whether it’s writing down your feelings in a letter or going through pictures of them, find what works for you.

 

Post written by Katie Karpinski

2 thoughts on “Coping with Valentine’s Day: A Guide for the Bereaved

    1. Cleveland Catholic Cemeteries

      Anne,

      We are deeply saddened to hear about your father and sister. Losing one loved one is challenging, and losing two loved ones in such a short amount of time is even more so. Make sure to be patient with yourself and your grief. Take some extra time for yourself and turn to Christ for comfort and strength. If you are interested in further grief support, exploring our blog is a good start. We even have a blog about losing a sibling which you can find here: http://ow.ly/i6KU30i4lPs. The CCA also offers monthly grief support groups, memorial masses, and more. You can find out more about these resources at https://clecem.org/Information/Bereavement.aspx. We here at the Catholic Cemeteries Association will be praying for you, your family, and for the souls of your father and sister.

      God bless,
      The Catholic Cemeteries Association

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