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Wading through the Month of Love

Posted on February 16, 2015
Just after the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons close, it seems the tide of red and pink holiday greeting cards, chocolates, and flowers spring to the forefront as Valentine’s Day approaches. For anyone grieving the loss of a loved one, the month of February can be particularly painful, especially for those that have lost a significant other. 

The entire month is coated with reminders of the infamous “couple’s holiday” which is not so easy to avoid. And while you may not be able to side-step the ever present gifts and flowers on display while shopping, here are a few tips for dealing with grief during the month of love: 
 
  • Allow yourself to experience grief. There is no denying that you will likely experience some grief and longing for the loved one you have lost, no matter how long it has been. Feelings of sadness may feel overwhelming—permit yourself to have those feelings, but also think of the happiness and joy you had with your significant other.
  • Do something kind for someone else. Keep your heart open to others—bake cookies for a neighbor, visit a relative, volunteer at a shelter. The possibilities are endless and doing something for the community will not only be helpful for others, but a healing experience for you.
  • Honor your loved one. Just because your loved one is gone, doesn’t mean that you still do not feel love for them. Let them know you still care—talk to them aloud, start a journal where you can write about your feelings, visit their gravesite, spend time with family and reminisce. If you had a Valentine’s Day tradition with your significant other, consider modifying it to help the tradition live on.
  • Do something for yourself. Valentine’s Day is a day of pampering, and why not give that gift to yourself? Book a massage. Go out for a big dinner with relatives or friends. Have a movie night at home complete with movie theater snacks. Schedule a trip to somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. Whatever it is that you love to do in your free time, do it. Make Valentine’s Day your treat day.
  • Find support if you need it. Everyone grieves differently, and there is no shame in seeking help if you feel the pressure is too much. Only you know what is okay for you, and if you think you are reaching a tipping point, reach out to a friend, family member, spiritual guide, or professional counselor who will listen with no judgment.

The most important thing regarding holidays is to find what works for you. Be creative and give some thought about how you can cope with Valentine’s Day and any other holiday that may have been special for you and your loved one. And if the grief becomes overwhelming, do not hesitate to pursue support from those who love you. 

 

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