Our November blog discussed “Those Dreaded Memory Dates & Holidays”. For many, these dates may also include February 14th, traditionally celebrated as a tribute to couples. For widows and widowers however, this day can seem like a red flag – not a red heart!
Valentine’s Day may be especially difficult for some – the day we typically spent in a special way with our loved one is now changed forever now that they are no longer here.
So how do you face Valentine’s Day when you are widowed?
First, know you are not alone. Only about half of North Americans acknowledge the 14th as special these days anyways. The history of why we celebrate the day is also a bit vague. Although we think of the real Valentine as someone exclusively focused on romance, he is officially known as the Saint of Lovers, Epileptics and Beekeepers. So, there’s no “rule” that we need to keep the date reserved for couples only.
However, it is nice to have something to look forward to during the snowy month of February, so, perhaps it’s time to give the day another chance. We like to call it “taking back Valentine’s Day,”finding a new way to make the day something special for you, as a widow or widower.
A Variation to consider is the popular “Galentine’s Day”
Galentine’s Day is observed on February 13th or Valentine’s Day Eve and is a special day for celebrating close friendships, usually among women.
Other Ideas to make Valentine’s Day a day “for you”
Here are some other suggestions for those looking for a way to see Valentine’s Day in a different light, or even make it a day to enjoy:
- Make it into a “me day” with something special you like to do, whether it’s waffles with friends (Covid permitting) or doing a favorite activity on your own.
- Meet up with a close friend or relative for an outdoor walk.
- Buy yourself flowers – really. February is a great month for buying bright tulips if roses seem too much of a Cupid reminder.
- If flowers aren’t your thing, treat yourself to something you’ve been wanting for a while.
- Make the day your volunteer day. There’s no better way to find some joy and feel appreciated at the same time than volunteering to help others.
- Make a call to another widow or widower to acknowledge the day and check in with them.
- Find a way to honour your loved one on or around the day, for example, plant seeds, visit a favorite place you used to enjoy together, reach out to his or her family etc.
Love, and the support of friends is always welcome
There are many ways to acknowledge Valentine’s Day (including the option to ignore it). Friendship and support, however, are always good to have, so see if you can find a way to build a new tradition that’s right for you.
At Widowed Friends, we celebrate our friends on Valentine’s Day – that’s you – and that’s why we’re acknowledging the day as a time to send our thoughts and love to you with the sure knowledge that this day will pass and better days will come.