Valentine’s Day may be difficult for those who have lost a partner. It can also be a painful holiday for anyone who is coping with a loss, because this day is a celebration of love and togetherness.
From the complex loss perspective, I am thinking of disenfranchised losses, or the many types of losses which might be off the radar today. While friends and family might recognize the difficulty of Valentine’s Day for those who lost a spouse or romantic partner, other types of losses might not be recognized as being meaningful or difficult today.
There may be important family traditions which are remembered and longed for today. Parents who have lost a child might remember valentines from their deceased child, made with glue, glitter and construction paper. Those who have lost a parent might remember heart shaped cookies, baked and decorated at the kitchen table. For me, I am thinking of the potted primrose plants that my father would bring home on Valentine’s Day, for me, my mom, and my siblings. Each plant would have flowers of a different color. I am missing my dad today.
For everyone who is coping with a loss today, I hope that you can take time for self-care. It may also be helpful to have a plan of how you’d like to spend the day. Maybe you’d like to set aside time to be with friends or family, to look at photos, or to honor your lost loved one in some way. Allow yourself to change your plan if and as needed, and definitely allow yourself to have your feelings.
Sending out good wishes to all.