How to navigate Valentine's Day if you have lost a partner
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Valentine’s Day can be particularly difficult following the death of a partner. Whilst loss can be felt every day, it is recognised that this particular day can often compound these feelings of grief and loss for people who are have been bereaved. And it is a time when emotions that may have lay dormant come bubbling to the surface. We all have our own way of dealing with grief when it happens.
Here are 5 helpful tips from Marie Curie social worker Emma Smyth - who works at the Marie Curie Hospice in East Belfast - on how to help you get through this Valentine’s Day if you are grieving.
Self care- Make it a day to love yourself and prioritise self care. Have a lie in, eat your favourite foods, buy yourself something nice, go out for a walk or indulge in your favourite hobbies.
Make plans- Whether you wish to keep your routine as normal as possible or take the day off, it can be helpful to have plans and keep busy. You may want to go to work, go out for a walk or meet up with a friend.
Memorable act- You may find it helpful to do something in memory and acknowledgement of the love you have for the person who has died, for example taking a walk in their favourite place or writing a letter to them. This can be a healthy way to continue bonds with the person who has died on this special day.
Reach out- You may wish to reach out to a friend or family member who has also been bereaved, in order to support each other through your shared experiences. You may wish to make plans together or you could brighten up their day with an act of kindness.
Show yourself kindness- Acknowledge that Valentine’s Day is difficult, with frequent triggers presenting themselves through romantic adverts, songs, images and social media posts. Send yourself words of compassion and recognise how you are feeling. You may wish to talk to a trusted friend or family member, journal how you are feeling or practice mindfulness meditation.
National Day of ReflectionMarie Curie, the UKs leading end of life charity, is leading the National Day of Reflection on Thursday 23rd March. A unique day to remember loved ones who’ve died, support people who are grieving and connect with each other. Marie Curie will be leading a minute’s silence at noon, a nationwide network of Walls of Reflection and a series of grief-themed online events - visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/dayofreflection for more information on everything that is happening.Taking place on the third anniversary that the UK went into lockdown, the National Day of Reflection raises awareness of the impact of grief on our lives and of the need for better support.