3 Grief Rituals to Help on Valentine’s Day

Special days – particularly a day focused on love and romance like Valentine’s Day – can bring about big emotions for those who have lost a loved one. When we talk about this with Milwaukee, New Berlin, and Brookfield families here at Krause Funeral Homes, many of them mention that it’s impossible to avoid the constant reminders of this holiday. This ends up creating an even stronger reaction during what may be a difficult time.

If memories are painful, the hubbub surrounding Valentine’s Day can create extra hurt. If memories have a hold on you – keeping you longing for what once was – you may react by coming to a standstill in your grief journey. But this doesn’t have to be the case.

Part of healing is choosing which memories to keep and which to leave behind. And on a day like Valentine’s Day, you encounter another choice: Will you embrace the day as an opportunity to commemorate your love for that special person? If so, how? After all, even though death ends a life it does not sever the bond you once shared.

For some, this February 14 will be the first Valentine’s Day since their Valentine died. For others, the day serves as a reminder of what once was.

Anyone who is familiar with grief understands that some days are harder than others. Our Krause team knows that memories of good times often magnify a loss, regardless of how long it has been since the death of a loved one. This year is especially weighty, given the isolation and challenges we are all experiencing.

If you’re feeling heavyhearted about the upcoming holiday, let us assure you that you are not alone. There’s no need to pretend you are okay or wish away the day. Consider taking part in these rituals – or adapting to make them your own – designed to give you a sense of connectedness, healing, and peace.

Honor your loved one in a special way.

Whether you’re grieving the death of a partner or spouse, parent or child, ask yourself, “How would they like to be remembered?” This could be a physical memorial, such as purchasing flowers they always admired or making a donation to a non-profit or church that meant a lot to them. Make or order their favorite meal, take a drive they always enjoyed, or visit their final resting place. You might even make this your new Valentine’s Day tradition.

Reach out to another friend or family member who may be having a hard day.

Due to COVID restrictions, many in-person gatherings won’t be happening this year. But don’t let that stop you from communicating with others who have experienced hardship and can relate to feeling down. Send a card or flowers. Pick up the phone. Plan to meet virtually. Make the effort beforehand so you have the connection you need once the 14th arrives.

Treat yourself

Valentine’s Day is not the same without your loved one present, but it is an opportunity to indulge in some of your favorites. Book a massage, purchase a colorful bouquet or chocolates you’ve always loved. Spoil yourself!

Our Krause team wants to remind you that grief can feel very raw, whether you’ve recently attended a funeral for a loved one, or it’s been months or years since you said goodbye. We talk with Milwaukee families every day who are planning a funeral, burial, or cremation, and we understand the difficult and complicated emotions that come with it.

We support families long after the funeral is over, including offering our Guiding Grief Interactive Online Help and other grief resources right here on our website. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out to us for help. That’s what we’re here for.

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