Re-framing Valentine's day

lonely woman.jpg

It's Valentine's Day - but your heart is aching. 

What do you do when the one you love has died? 

Yes, you have the right to be miserable.  

I don't blame you for just ignoring the next 24 hours.  

But here is another idea.  Re-frame the meaning of Valentine's day now in your circumstances to give it a new and healing meaning.  


Boy: Do you have a date for Valentine’s Day?Girl: Yes, February 14th.

It is okay to drop the idea of a date and romance.  At the "heart" of the day is ‘love’ (pun completely intended) of all kinds. Enjoy the memories of your love.  And there may be a lot of emotion to express including through tears but also writing them a love letter, music, art, exercise.  But you may want to release the love in your heart to love on family and others.  

Love the One you are with

"If you can't be with the one you love, Love the one you are with" - Crosby, Stills & Nash (I have been a fan forever) gave us a little sage advice.  This old song advises us to find some of those that you can love that are in your life: kids, parents, friends, dogs and give them a phone call, a little gift, a hug, a walk.  It will help heal your heart.

Random acts of kindness

How about making the world a better place on Valentine's day with 3 simple acts of kindness.  It makes the world a nicer, gentler place, and you feel better about yourself.  In fact, research finds that when we give to others, the same “feel good” hormones are released as when we receive a gift.  Kindness boomerangs back to us!   Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • hold a door
  • buy a coffee for someone
  • e-mail to encourage someone – a friend, or political figure, etc.
  • by a little gift for a relative – especially children
  • shovel a walk
  • volunteer at the pet shelter (and get lots of dog kisses)
  • make a donation – perhaps in your loved one’s memory
  • make a call to an elderly relative – who may be lonely

I bought little chocolate hearts and toys for my three granddaughters and they felt so grown up to get a heart box, it was a joy to see them so excited.  They gave me homemade cards and put on little impromptu acting and piano performances over a delightful early-valentine's dinner at their house with their family.  They had even decorated with hearts everywhere.  Wonderful conversation, wine and the kids insisted on candles.  So Valentines-y!   

But romance, no.   

But love?   There was lots and lots of love.  How blessed am I!

Big hugs and love, 


If you are facing loss, get the support you deserve.  For a no-obligation "Rebuilding Life Again" session with Helga Bender, MThS, e-mail me click here.   

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