Monday, February 11, 2019

Dealing with Valentine's Day Loneliness

Dealing with Valentine's Day

 Valentine's Day countdown has begun. About 110 million roses will be sold, and more than 58 million pounds of chocolate will fatten women's hips. Other women's...sadly. I understand. I've been widowed too. My first husband, Bruce, died instantly of a brain aneurism on Feb. 15, 2000 --the day between the big V and my birthday.

 It doesn't hurt like it used to, although I wanted it to hurt always. I never wanted to forget, but the years have drawn a shade over the grief and lifted the weight. I don't know if that will give you some hope today, but hope is a precious commodity so I want to give it out to as many as will accept it. Contrary to popular quotes and memes, Grief does not last forever. But I've been blogging and reaching out to widows since 2010 so I know it can feel like forever when you're in the middle of it. Suffocating at times. 

If you feel on the verge of getting pulled into the vicious vortex of Valentine's Day loneliness, here are some ideas I've collected over the years from other widows. You might be able to transform it by thinking ahead and using these ideas to do something different. If you want to pretend the day doesn't exist and not acknowledge it at all, that's okay too. I often find that people deal with sorrow in two different ways: 
  • remember/memorialize it
  • or choose to leave it alone. It's in the past, its been dealt with, and its time for the next chapter.
Depending on your background and personality, both of these methods can work. There's a third way too---have a pity party, but that won't get us anywhere.

If you'd like to memorialize the day or give yourself something to look forward to, here are a variety of things that might be meaningful for you: 
  • Visit the cemetery and leave a message of candy conversation hearts to melt into the snow
  • Tie a home-made Valentine to a helium balloon and let it fly away to heaven
  • Collect old Valentines and love letters and put them together in a decorative memory box keepsake.
  • Create a collage of photos and frame it to hang on a wall or stand on your dresser.
  • Buy a package or two of school Valentine cards. Send them to your own children, nieces & nephews or other family members. Write a little love note on them.
  • Or send Valentines to various groups--nursing homes, children's hospital wards, missionary kids you pray for, your childrens' ministry leaders, your Bible study group or group leaders . . .
  • Offer to babysit for a married couple so they can enjoy a romantic evening out. Prepare a lot of fun things to do with the kids so you don't end up bored and feeling sorry for yourself.
  • Invite other widows over for tea or coffee and snacks, or a carry-in lunch or supper. Give them an opportunity to share their stories and send them home with a love verse from the Bible.
  • Do something nice for yourself: sign up for a class about anything you're interested in--from Acrobatics to Zebra farming; join a church or community group; get a library card and use it; rent a musical instrument or buy an Irish whistle (I'm having so much fun learning to play mine!); volunteer or find a part-time job...
--hey, I'm getting carried away here, but you get the idea. Plan some 
fun
and show yourself some love and kindness.

If, on the other hand, you just want to forget the day that's OK too. At least your pants will still fit without that 58 million pounds of chocolate.

Do you have some new ideas to share about dealing with Valentine's Day? Please comment today. I love to read everything that comes in and will post it asap. Other widows love reading your comments too and find them a big help.

 ferree
 
P.S. Have you ordered your copy of Postcards from the Widows' Path yet for yourself or a friend? Take advantage of a 20% off sale if you order here in my bookstore. (Not on Amazon!) Thanks!

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