Valentines is a day engineered to elicit romance and longing, what with all the heart shaped boxes of candy, cupid and love themed decorations, and cheesy gift cards anywhere you look. For the couples and romantics of the world Valentines is a day of happy and romantic celebration. However, for those recuperating from the loss of a loved partner or spouse, this holiday can become extremely emotional and painful.
It’s already difficult enough to deal with the loss a spouse or partner, specifically because of the close relationship you would have shared with them. This can take a serious toll on your physical and mental health, meaning that even the smallest mention of couples or romantic notions can affect the coping process. Unfortunately, feelings may persist for a long time after actually suffering the loss, but addressing them can help mitigate their negative effects.
To come to terms with this life changing event, follow these four important steps that will help you mange the grief and begin enjoying Valentine’s Day yet again.
Coping With Loss of a Loved One
Be respectful of your own grief:
Grief is a process, and any process takes time. There’s nothing wrong with that, and those that refuse to accept their natural emotions only end up worse off in the long run. Just because Valentines is a holiday, does not mean that you need to set aside your grief because you thinking it’ll somehow ruin the day. If you’re meeting with others to celebrate the day, it’s absolutely natural to show your grief.
In fact, discussing your grief and mourning with someone on Valentine’s Day can actually help ease the loss, because expressing your grief is always the best way to address them directly.
Confide in Others:
You suffered this loss, so you may feel that it’s something you should deal with alone. However, that couldn’t be more wrong. Your friends and family may not feel this loss in the same way that you do, but they care about your well-being, and opening up to them can be a huge step in overcoming the loss yourself. That’s why Valentines might actually be the perfect time to connect with others, and spend the night at a friend’s party or even a public bar.
Some may choose to spend the day with a support group, where people can openly speak of the loss they’ve experienced. The effectiveness of this will be determined by each person themselves, as it may either teach you valuable coping skills, or could trigger painful memories.
Valentine’s Day is a holiday when couples bring each other presents and tokens of appreciation, and while it’s the loss of the loved one that really matters, not getting these tokens can also have a negative effect on how you cope. That’s why it can sometimes be helpful to treat yourself on Valentines by getting something that your loved one would have given you. For example, if you tended to expect roses on Valentine’s Day, buying yourself a bouquet can illicit good memories of your loved one.
It doesn’t even have to be something memorable. You can choose to buy that gadget you’ve been wanting for a long time, or take the day off at the spa. Any gift can serve to take your mind off the grief, and help you enjoy this special holiday.
The last thing you need when dealing with a loss is people that are not understanding and not patient. They may think that enough time has passed for you to be over your loved one, but only you can decide when enough time has passed. Keep yourself away from people like these until you feel ready to move past the grief, as their comments will only serve to worsen your mood.
Instead, spend time with those people that understand your grief, and are happy to listen to your thoughts and emotions. You should be able to talk to your friends about your loved one and how Valentine’s Day reminds you of them. You might even want to reminisce of past Valentines spent with them.
If you yourself are feeling negative, keeping positive people around you can work wonders on your mood, and at worst they’ll be there to provide moral support and guidance.
Loss is an essential part of life, and even though it can seem impossible to move past such immense grief, the ways in which you deal with it will come to define the importance of the relationship. By sticking to these tips, you can ensure that you spend a happy Valentine’s Day, away from the negativity that grief tends to bring.