When Valentine’s Day is not all “Hearts & Chocolate”

It is hard to avoid the fact that Valentine’s Day is here. You’ve been seeing heart shaped boxes and commercials for jewelry now for weeks. But as with many holidays and special moments throughout the year, grief can color these once-joyful traditions.

If you are struggling with how to celebrate the holiday this year, here are some non-traditional ways to spread the love.

For the Love of {Family and Friends}

Has someone in your circle been particularly supportive of you during your grief? Have they dropped off your kiddos at soccer practice? Brought by a casserole “just because”? Taken time to listen and be still with you?

  • Write them a Valentine! Encourage your children to also think of a person who has played a supportive role in their grief journey and write a note of love and thanks.
  • Get a group together for a special Valentine’s-themed dinner. You can make it a potluck and have everyone bring a dish they love. Use this as a festive occasion to celebrate the love between your chosen community.
  • Let your children plan a special day! It can include a new family excursion, watching an old favorite movie, or a fun craft like this one.


For the Love of {Nature}

Do the sounds of birds and the rustle of trees bring you peace?

  • Plan a walk or a hike in memory of your loved one.
  • Plant a tree that you can nurture as a family and watch grow.
  • Spend time with a furry friend – whether taking your own pup for an outing or giving back by spending time at your local animal shelter.



For the Love of {Yourself}

‘Self-care’ – one of the biggest buzz words of the past few years – can come in a lot of forms. What works for someone else may or may not work for you. Take a moment to think about what will fill you up.

  • Unplug for the day. Give yourself a tech-free day to connect with your family.
  • Pamper yourself with your favorite treat, a trip to the hairdresser, or a new outfit.

Just remember, your grief journey is unique and ever-changing. However you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, know that there is no right or wrong way.



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