5 Tips to Cope with Grief on Valentine’s Day

by | Jan 28, 2019 | Grief

Oh, it’s coming up to that time of the year again! You know….when all those red roses appear everywhere, and everyone is getting excited…except you. Yes, you guessed it, Valentine’s Day is approaching, and Cupid’s arrow is hitting the heart. For some, it’s feelings of love, and for others, the heart aches even more.

Most people celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving their loved flowers, going out for a romantic dinner, or by putting time aside to do their favourite activities together. And this is exciting for them, but what about the widows and widowers?

No, I’m not against Valentine’s day, but as a Widow I’d like to say not everyone can indulge in these traditions. For those who have lost their loved one, special days like this can trigger intense memories and emotions for the people left behind after someone they love has passed away, no matter how long ago it was. Because of this, Valentine’s Day can be a time of mourning, instead of love and happiness.

Even though Valentine’s Day is traditionally a day of celebrating romantic love, this might not be the easiest for those who have lost their loved one. Here are 5 ways to cope on Valentines Day if you have lost your loved one.  

  1. Give yourself permission to grieve: There may be pressures on you to act a particular way on Valentine’s day. Don’t burden yourself with these pressures and give yourself permission to grieve your loved one in your own way.
  2. Write it down: By putting your thoughts and feelings into words, you can help yourself process and organise the things that have happened in your life. In terms of grief, it can be a very therapeutic process that provides an insight into your particular response to grief and how you cope.
  3. Be your own Valentine: Show yourself some love on this day by paying attention to your body and what it needs. This may be indulging in retail therapy, going for a spa treatment, eating out for dinner, or simply taking your dog for a walk. Do whatever makes you feel good.
  4. Honour your beloved: Ask yourself how your loved one would normally like to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and then do it. This may be donating items to charity or planting their favourite type of tree. But these are just ideas, it’s up to you how you honour your loved one.
  5. Celebrate ‘LOVE’ in all forms: Typically, Valentine’s Day is thought of as a day of romance, making it particularly hard for those who aren’t in a relationship. Instead, choose to celebrate it by showing all kinds of love. This can be to friends and family by sending cards or having a dinner party, to strangers by showing them kindness or volunteering your time to help a charity, or to animals by spoiling your pet (if you have one). Valentine’s Day does not only need to be about romantic love.

Remember, these five ways of coping with grief on Valentine’s Day are only our suggestions, and there are many more that you may find work better for you. It’s all about you and your body; listen to it and you will find Valentine’s Day an easier day to celebrate.

If you’re finding it hard to cope with grief, call us on 02 42445636 to see how we can help you.

Photo: pixabay.com

Written by Olga Lavalle

Olga is registered as a Clinical Psychologist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. She provides psychological services under Medicare, is an Employee Assistance Program provider and an approved WorkCover NSW provider. Additionally, Olga consults to workplace and community sporting organisations.

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