Is There Room For Grief On Valentine’s Day?

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Just like any other holiday, grieving on Valentine’s Day can be difficult for some. Hold on for those 24 hours and try these tips to get through:

  1. Shut it out. If you can, go ahead and ignore it.  Refuse to look at the candy displays, the roses and cards.  Divert your gaze from the red and pink balloon clusters.  Mute or fast forward through mushy-gushy commercials.
  2. Give in and cry.  On the flip side, if you cannot deny Cupid’s presence on February 14th, let yourself have your reaction.  Cry, sulk, wallow and weep.  If you feel sad that your sweetheart is gone, then let yourself have the healthy reaction and cry.
  3. Consider who else may need a Valentine and try to refocus your attention on making someone else’s day.  Sending flowers, meeting for a meal or even making a simple phone call to a sullen friend may make you both feel better and help you both get through the day.
  4. DRINK!… moderation.  If you’re going to have alcohol, whether to numb the pain or toast to your loved one, enjoy sparingly or you’ll have more reasons to feel poorly later.
  5. Purposely remember.  Go somewhere in honor of your loved one or in memory of Valentine’s Days’ past.  Mark the day, not so much as a celebration, but just to acknowledge what it is and what it means to you now.

WHY ASK WHY? Understanding Your Loved One’s Death

Why ask the why question? Why did this happen to me? Why did this have to happen to us? You may ask yourself that question over and over. You may ask, why my child?  Why my family? Why now? You may wonder what you did to deserve this or if this is some kind of punishment from God or some kind of bad karma coming back for you?  You’re confused, angry, guilt-ridden and envious of all the people who have no idea what you’re going through.  Why me, you cry? And why do I have to endure this?

Ask yourself this question: is there an answer to my why that I would accept? Would you hear the answer and say OK, now I understand and it’s acceptable and that’s OK? What possible answer to your why is there that you would accept? If there was an answer or reason that explained why, how would things be different? What would change? Is there an acceptable reason why?

Likely not. And though you may ask the question why over and over, repeatedly for years maybe, perhaps you should consider not asking the question after a while.  Since there is no good reason why, we may be only adding to our own anguish and despair by focusing on an aspect of our loss that we may be better off trying to let go.

Use your limited attention and energy for other questions to ask yourself such as How? How will I get through this?  Where? Where will I get the support I need?  What? What do I need to do to help myself right now? Those questions have answers.