How To Survive Valentines's Day After Loss

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Valentine’s Day as a child was always a happy, Hallmark holiday!

I grew up in Kansas City, which was the Hallmark headquarters. I remember visiting the stores, picking out my special greetings and decorating my Valentine’s box with my mom. I looked forward to the day, because it was also my mom’s birthday. How fun is that!? To celebrate your birthday on the national day of love!

The meaning of Valentine’s Day changed as I got older. It became a special time because this is when I had my first date with my husband. It took on the meaning of love, happiness and the future that we would share. Fast forward, marriage, children, school parties and making cookies would be the way we celebrate the day.

We used to laugh and say it was the sappy, Hallmark holiday!

After experiencing loss, this happy holiday stirs up many mixed emotions. Grief is a funny thing. Feelings come back and revisit, just when you think everything is going well.

Valentine’s Day is now a reminder of some of the things we’ve lost. We grieve what could have been.

Although our loved ones are gone, it doesn’t mean our love and longing to be with them stops. We now have to change the course and make new traditions.

6 years ago, Valentine’s Day brought us a special gift. My daughter and I were looking for a new puppy that we could nurture and love. We looked and looked and just didn’t find the right fit for us.

We left the shelter disappointed. During lunch, my daughter looked at me and said, “Let’s go back!.” With reservations, we went back. To our surprise, a van had just dropped of 5 new puppies!

Once we stepped into that crate, our little love found us! He was a little black, Shepard and Lab mix that wouldn’t let us go. We found out, he was someone’s Valentine and had been returned. Needless to say, he became our forever love. His name is Prince!

I’m not saying you have to go adopt a dog! However, find something that gives you peace and enjoyment again. It can be as simple as meeting a friend, seeing a great movie, enjoying a concert, taking a cooking class, getting a pedicure or planning a karaoke night!

Be creative, keep yourself busy and don’t be afraid to reach out to friends because you don’t want to be alone!

We all get busy in this fast paced world. Our fiends can’t read our minds. So, take care of your own heart and you will get through this Valentine’s Day!