After losing your life partner there are many difficult dates to get through. Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries – and of course valentine’s Day. It’s hard, but there are ways to cope.
In this article we look at the following:
- Facing up to how you feel
- Talking about your feelings
DON’T EXPECT IT TO BE EASY
When dealing with strong emotions many people feel like running away, pretending it’s not happening or distracting themselves. But if this is your first Valentine’s Day alone it will greatly help you to move on if you embrace your grief, however painful this is.
With all the hearts and flowers around, and all the apparently happy couples celebrating their love for each other, of course you are going to feel bereft. Probably you are now in uncharted territory, emotion-wise, and you may feel overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to cry, and rage if you wish, letting out all those feelings.
Even though you cannot see a way out of this darkness at the present moment, one thing is for sure. The future holds something much better for you and this is a necessary stage in the process of moving on.
TREASURE YOUR MEMORIES
If you wish you can spend Valentine’s Day reminiscing about your loved one. Look at old photos and videos. Take a trip down memory lane, maybe to where you first met, fell in love, committed to each other. Remember all the good things and try to realise that you were blessed to experience this love.
It might help to write down some of your memories. Poems and music will also heighten your experience. Being alone now is very sad, but truly you have been blessed.
Set aside a special shelf as a little shrine to your dear one. Place their photo there, flowers and anything that reminds you of them. Diffuse cypress oil in an oil burner to release grief, and light a candle – preferably one with hearts on it. Somewhere, some how your dear one will know that you are remembering them and valuing all they gave you.
YOUR VALENTINE’S CARD
If your loved one were here, how would he or she have celebrated this day? Would they have bought you a card, chocolates, flowers? Why not pick out a valentine card to give yourself, just as your dear one would have done?
If you believe that death is a transition rather than an ending then you will know that your dear one is close by, even though you can’t see or touch them. What would they like to give you? Treat yourself as they would have done.
Maybe you have kept some Valentine cards from the past, that your partner gave you. If so, why not select your favourite and put it up again this year, next to their photograph and a vase of flowers, maybe on their ‘shrine’ (see above). Love goes on, far beyond mere death.
PLANT A TREE
As a memento to your partner, why not plant a tree, as a gift to the earth, on Valentine’s Day? Many trees are best planted at the end of winter. Check on the specific requirements of the tree of your choice, and put your Valentine tree where you have ready access to it.
Look after your tree, and then, every year on Valentine’s Day, you can hang a red heart from its branches, in memory of your love.
TALK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS
Why try to be brave? Wouldn’t your friends and family rather know how you feel and help you cope? If you can, why not have a small gathering of friends and family, celebrating the life of your partner and remembering all his or her characteristics.
A nice gesture would be for each person to pledge a loving deed, in memory of your partner, to do during the coming year. Or you could all do something on the day itself, to show that although the physical body dies, love goes on.
HOW WE CAN HELP
In this article we’ve seen how you can face up to your feelings, treasure memories, have your Valentine’s card, plant a tree and talk about those difficult emotions. Losing your life partner is one of the most painful losses you can experience, and if you are struggling, then that’s only to be expected. When things seem at their darkest, that’s when you need support. Our wonderful Readers are always at hand, to fulfill your needs.
You may want to know what the future holds for you, you may simply want some support and empathy, or you may wish to be connected to your partner in spirit. All of these things are offered by our Readers.
PUBLISHED: 09 February 2017