What do you do with Valentine's Day when you have a hole in your heart? It's a romantic day for couples, but not if you are alone. It can be a time that families express their love for each other too. Even if our loved one has passed away, our love does not die. We can still celebrate the loved we shared. We can still find ways to honour and cherish the gift.
Here are some tips:
• Write a love letter or note in your journal. You can tell them you will always love them, because you will
• Send other family members an e-mail to remember together, “Just thinking of Mom and how she always sent us a note on Valentine’s day. I wanted to send you a big smile and say, So glad you are my brother!"
• Smile a smile for them – simple, thoughtful
• Light a red candle – if you do this at dinner, with others, you might like to tell them why
• Tell someone about them. – this might be a good day to have coffee with a friend and reminisce
• Buy a helium heart balloon and release it in the park – sending your love to heaven
Those that we love become part of us, our ways, and our values. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, a genuine complement. How about remembering their endearing ways by a little imitation but in your own style. Pick something that reflects who they were and do your own version of it in their honour.
- Did they love hikes? Go for a nature walk, alone, or invite someone who knew them and remember them together.
- Were they encouraging? Send someone an encouragement e-mail.
- Did they give flowers? Give a single rose to your children or grandchildren, or to yourself. Leave their favorite blooms at their grave. As a preschooler, my son Ben picked my yellow tulips to give to me, "Mummy". I have placed yellow tulips at his grave with a fond smile and tears.
- Did they love to give chocolates? Give someone a special truffle – or enjoy it yourself.
- Were they musical? Play some of their favorite tunes and smile at the memories.
- Were they a sports fan? Give away a favorite baseball cap, or a team toque in memory.
- Did they have a favorite recipe? Make it to enjoy, or give away - for family or co-workers and tell them about where the recipe came from. Or send your family a copy of the recipe with a little explanation.
As a football player in high school, my son Ben used to make his favorite “Reese’s pieces” squares for our family - love that peanut butter and chocolate! He realized that if he made them he knew that they would be on hand for an after school snack. He was killed 9 years ago, before any little grandchildren arrived. This year, I will make them at Valentine's Day for my granddaughters and explain that this was their Uncle Ben’s favorite recipe, though his famous “Pinball” Clemons Nacho Cheese Dip was a close second. But I will save that for another time. I know they will love his Reese's pieces squares!
Today, I want to share that recipe with you too. Here is the recipe link for Peanut Butter Bars I - it is the same delicious recipe. Enjoy!
Remember to be kind to yourself on Valentine's Day. Watch a funny movie, and laugh, it is a little holiday from the grief. Grief is a marathon so care for yourself and one day you will discover that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you will find that there is still life to celebrate.
Blessings and Big Hugs and Keep Moving Forward,
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