Valentine’s Day Grief

by | Feb 14, 2024

The most important business of life is love, or maybe it’s the only one.”

– Stendhal 

Grief and Valentine’s Day simply do not go together. The one we loved is gone, yet the commercials, advertising, and romantic restaurant specials are stark reminders of what is now gone.  A quick search of “Valentine’s Day and grief” yields numerous articles, support groups, and resources designed to help navigate through this challenging day. If you are dreading the arrival of Valentine’s Day due to the loss of a loved one, you are not alone. The reason grief is so strong, is because love is so strong. 

Dr. Alan Wolfelt, from the Center for Loss and Transitions, offers this reflection: 

Life is made meaningful by love. Those of us who have been privileged to love and be loved understand this profound yet exquisitely simple truth. Death separates us from the physical presence of those we love, but it does not-it cannot-separate us from the love itself. We continue to love, even as we grieve. We will keep loving until our last breath – and who knows, perhaps beyond.  Love endures. And it is love that will continue to make our life meaningful. 

Whether the loss occurred recently or years ago, occasions like this can stir up grief. What was once a day dedicated to celebrating with a loved one now becomes a poignant reminder of their absence, filled with a sense of emptiness.  Navigating through a time filled with pink hearts and roses while carrying the weight of loss and grief can be challenging. Here are some tips from two resources to help you get through Valentine’s Day:

(click on the article title to read the article). 

Tips for Valentine’s Day and Grief, From Crossroads Hospice and Palliative Care:

  • You’re Allowed to Be Sad 
  • Celebrate in a New, Sacred Way 
  • Ignore Valentine’s Day 
  • Attend an Anti-Valentine’s Day Event 
  • Treat Yourself

7 Tips to Cope With Valentine’s Day Grief, by Heather Stang 

  • Commemorate the memory of your beloved.  
  • Enjoy an at-home self-care retreat.  
  • Connect with a local Widow/widower/partner loss group.  
  • Reach out to friends and family.  
  • Order a delicious meal.  
  • Plan for “business as usual.” 
  • Cultivate compassion for yourself and others with meditation.  
  • Show yourself kindness and mercy.  

Ensuring self-care is especially crucial for individuals mourning the passing of a loved one. Prioritize nutritious eating, connect with supportive friends and family, and choose from the suggested strategies above to help guide you through this difficult time. 

“What we have once enjoyed, we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes part of us.” 

– Helen Keller