To the Widow Facing Her First Valentine’s Day Alone

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To the Widow Facing Her First Valentine’s Day Alone

/ Post by Codi Lindsey

by Kerry Phillips

First, and most importantly, you’ll get through it. 

I can’t promise your day won’t be filled with tears, a scream or two, or crying in the shower. But, I promise you can and will make it through. 

On a day that symbolizes love – especially love between couples and spouses – it’s hard not to get caught up in the “what-ifs.” What would life look like if your loved one were still here? What would you have planned? What gift would you have bought/received to celebrate another milestone, another special day?

Please know there is no one way to be on Valentine’s Day. You are allowed to be angry, yell and shout. You get to be mad at the world. You can even be mad at God for taking your person (He can handle it). You get to lie in bed all day if you so choose, or look back through photo albums and remind yourself of the beautiful memories you shared.

There’s also no rule about sending yourself flowers. Some widows have been known to get themselves flowers on behalf of their dearly departed. You can do it too if it will bring you comfort. Don’t let the naysayers talk you out of it or worry what others will think. It’s all about what helps you get through this most difficult of days. 

Maybe you want to spend the day with others who have experienced profound loss as well. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your widow tribe. If there aren’t restrictions in your city/town, consider celebrating “Galentine’s” with your favorite wids and meeting up for a nice lunch or dinner. If you’re concerned about coronavirus, plan a virtual meetup. Grab a drink and snacks and spend the evening online sharing stories about your spouse – and plenty of laughs.

Also, remember that at the heart of Valentine’s Day is love. Though you’re widowed, there are still opportunities to celebrate love. There might not be romantic love, but there is love in other areas of your life. Create a new Valentine’s Day tradition with your children. Send your widowed friends an email or text telling them how much they’ve meant to you as you’ve rebuilt your life post-loss. Do something nice for a friend or family member whose kindness and love stood out to you during the rawest parts of your grief. It doesn’t dull the pain of your loss, but research shows acts of kindness benefit the giver just as much as the recipient.

Practice plenty of self-love, especially in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. Give yourself grace. It’s okay to take a social media break if you’ll be triggered by engagements and floral deliveries. There is nothing wrong with disconnecting for a bit to protect your mental health. Just keep in mind we do not have a monopoly of sadness. It’s unfair to lash out at others simply because we’re hurting. Others are fighting battles that may not be as obvious as widowhood. 

And, if you feel nothing at all this Valentine’s Day, that’s perfectly alright too. You can ditch the red attire, skip the Valentine’s Day greetings, and everything else associated with Cupid. You get to choose how much or how little you want to engage or get involved. 

Regardless of how you opt to spend the day, I hope you’ll remember love never dies. Though your spouse is no longer here, the love you shared will be with you always. Please take comfort in knowing as long as there is love in your heart, he/she remains part of you. May you receive even the smallest of signs of Valentine’s Day to be reminded of that great love.

Biggest of hugs as you navigate your first Valentine’s Day without your spouse or partner. 

originally posted at

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