Aaah, Valentine’s Day… it’s one of the most celebrated holidays of the year. For Hallmark and florists anyway. American’s will spend close to $20 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day gifts this year!
I remember this holiday with great fondness…giving and receiving Valentine notes and candy from my schoolmates in elementary school.
Then, life happens to us and Valentine’s quickly turns into a day filled with pressure, sadness and disappointment. You can’t walk into a store and not be bombarded with advertisements, cards, chocolates, balloons, and flowers everywhere.
But what if Valentine’s Day brings up painful, or sad memories for you? There is a good chance you are experiencing unresolved grief.
Let me explain, grief is the conflicting feelings following the end of, or a change in, a familiar pattern of behavior.
For instance…what if your father always sent you flowers on Valentine’s Day but has recently passed away. Now, flowers are a painful reminder of that heartbreaking loss. This represents a change of a very familiar pattern of behavior that used to bring you great joy.
Another aspect of grief is the lost hopes, dreams, and expectations when a relationship ends or changes.
What if… another Valentine’s Day is here and you are still single. You thought this would be the year you found a happy and romantic relationship. But that just hasn’t happened. Isn’t that a lost hope, dream, or expectation?
What if… you are divorced, or widowed, and this holiday is a reminder that you won’t be sharing these special moments with your spouse ever again. Isn’t that grief?
What should you do if you feel sad on Valentine’s Day?
- Be aware. If you notice yourself out of the moment and thinking about the past, simply acknowledge it.
- Be honest. If you are sad, say so. Find a loving friend with whom you can safely share your true feelings with.
- Be real. Ask yourself if there were things you wish would have been different, better, or more. If so, you might be incomplete with the relationship you are thinking about. Until you become complete with that relationship, your capacity for happiness will be limited.
- Be in the moment. After telling the truth about what is consuming your thoughts, get back into the moment by focusing on what (or who) is in front of you.
- Be willing to ask for help.
Learn more about the tools of surviving loss and discover how to truly grieve by checking out The Grief Recovery MethodTM. That is what we do and what we teach at Freedom From Grief.
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