Remembering a Loved One on Valentine’s Day

February 08, 2018 Grief, Aftercare by Sarah Loghry

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After the glitz and glamour of the major winter holidays, many people forget about the mid-February day dedicated to love and romance. While many resources focus on remembering and honoring loved ones during those major holidays, Valentine’s Day can be just as emotional for families.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, people are often inundated with marketing and advertising that promotes spending time with their loved ones. This may make the holiday even more difficult for those who have lost a loved one. What can they do when the people who traditionally celebrated with them are no longer around? Here are five things that could help them remember a loved one on Valentine’s Day.

1. Volunteer

Recommend that grieving families volunteer at their loved one’s favorite charity on Valentine’s Day. Volunteering is not only a great way to keep busy during a difficult time, but it can also make families feel more connected to each other and their loved one.

2. Donate Something

Whether it’s old belongings of a loved one that they are ready to part with, or new items they would like to give away, donating things to a good cause in the name of a loved one is a great way to honor their memory. Families could consider making creative donations such as books about Valentine’s Day to a local school, Valentine’s Day children’s outfits to a homeless shelter or heart-shaped pet treats to a local animal shelter.

3. Write a Valentine

Journaling can be an effective way to deal with emotions. Recommend that your client families take an interesting twist on journaling this Valentine’s Day by writing a valentine to their loved one. Suggest purchasing a Valentine’s Day card from the store that their family member would have liked or crafting one at home. Then, they will have the chance to express all of the emotions they have had during the holiday in the card.

4. Send Valentines

Each year, I get a valentine from my mom and my grandma. It’s a tradition that I look forward to every February, as the cards are always hand-picked and have special notes written inside. For families that are dealing with a loss, suggest that they connect with friends and family by sending personalized Valentine’s Day cards. Each card could contain a note with a memory about the recipient and their loved one. Much like journaling, this is a great way to remember a loved one and share happy memories with family and friends.

5. Continue Favorite Traditions

Many families, especially couples, have Valentine’s Day traditions. If a client family is ready, suggest they continue their favorite celebrations on this holiday. These traditions could be getting reservations for a favorite restaurant, buying their loved one’s favorite candy or getting themselves a gift that their loved one would have bought for them. These are great ways to remember and honor a loved one who is gone.

Whether or not you buy into the hoopla of Valentine’s Day, the day itself is hard to ignore. Keeping these tips in mind for your client families could help ease the emotional stress of the day and position your firm as a grief resource in your community.

How does your firm help families during the holidays? Leave your ideas and stories in the comments!