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Grieving hearts

Grief and love

by Terre Mirsch

Holidays are often difficult for those that have suffered the loss of a loved one. And because Valentine’s Day may not be recognized by many as a typical holiday, it may make its presence even harder to bear. After all, “love is in the air” and, perhaps, all you can feel is grief, sadness, and loneliness.  Although you may not have celebrated Valentine’s Day for many years, suddenly the day may be a painful reminder of your loss and sorrow may creep up on you unexpectedly.

While our loved one is no longer physically with us, the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual ties remain. Personal remembrances or ceremonies can provide helpful ways to demonstrate and honor our eternal love. They can give us a sense of connectedness, peacefulness, and serenity.

If you or someone you love is trying to cope with loss this Valentine’s Day, the following ideas for remembrance may be helpful:

  • Keep visual reminders– Photos and other memorabilia can help keep loved ones in our memories throughout the day.
  • Make a remembrance journal– Create a scrapbook filled with keepsakes, photos, poems, and stories that honor the memory of your loved one and symbolize the love, joy, and happiness they brought to your life.
  • Write to your loved one– Write a letter, poem, or prayer to your loved one, or write a message and attach it to a helium balloon and release it in a special place, or burn it in a special container and watch the smoke rise upwards.
  • Journal– Keep a private journal and write about your grief journey, special remembrances, or feelings.
  • Light a special candle or plant a tree, bush, or flowers as a loving tribute to your loved one.
  • Send yourself a card, buy yourself flowers or candy, or treat yourself to some ‘me’ time at the nail salon, spa, or movies in honor of the love that was given to you throughout your life together.
  • Express your love by sharing your thoughts or memories virtually on our Remembrance page. Offer a prayer or a reflection, or remember a time, a place, a person, whatever you would like.

Honoring special occasions and celebrating a loved one’s life in a unique way can help create meaning and facilitate healing. Even the simplest acts of recognition will help their spirit live on in our hearts.

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