We can all agree that Valentines a commercial holiday. A superficial day, when we are forced to celebrate love. Why should we only celebrate love on this one day. Why should we only wait for this day. Why are you forced to buy me chocolates, candy, flowers, lingerie and fancy dinners just on this day. Why?
Love should be celebrated everyday. Why wait for an occasion shower some gifts or do something special for the one you love. You never know that day may not come. Nothing is written in stone. So Why?
My husband and I, like many of you, didn’t believe in Valentines day. I always said it means so much more to me if you do something special for me just out of the blue vs on a holiday, birthday or anniversary when I am expecting it. But to show each other we still cared we agreed to buy each other cards every valentines day. And boy there were times when he forgot and I would get upset. He would be in the dog house, because I still wanted to know he thought of me on Valentines day. But Why?
Last year was my first Valentines Day as a widow. Leading up to it I thought I would be fine. I was getting back from a trip to Vegas and has a lot of work to get done around the house. It was just going to be another day. As it is we never really celebrated it. So I should be fine.
I was cleaning the house and had music playing. And all of sudden the song You are the Sun by Lionel Ritchie came on and I started to cry. This song was the song my husband left behind for me to listen to for when I am feeling down. He said the words described how he felt about and if I was wondered or was feeling down to listen to this song. Was he sending me a message. Was he thinking of me. Why?
So this year I thought, Ok, I don’t like this holiday, however it has a way of getting the better of me. I am going to face it head on this year. Why not celebrate the love I have left in my life. Actually the love of my life, I should celebrate that, I should celebrate her. So starting today till Valentines Day, my daughter and I are going to write heart shaped notes to each other and paste them on each others bedroom doors. This way we can celebrate the love we have for each other. We celebrate everyday but this is a new tradition I want to start.
I know many who will read this blog also have friends and family who are widowed and are wondering how to make this holiday a little better for their loved ones. So here is a list of my Do’s and Don’ts.
Don’t – Cancel your traditional yearly plans to spend time with your Widow friend or family member. This makes us feel guilty and even worse. We don’t hate love. We want to see our friends and family happy and celebrating love. So don’t forgo your plans for us.
Don’t – Do something Cheesy. Don’t plan a big elaborate thing to make the Widow feel special. Once again this makes us feel helpless and makes us feel like we are putting others out.
Don’t – Tilt your head to the side and say ” Oh, Its Valentines Day, Are you going to be ok?” We see pity. We don’t want Pity. We believe in love and maybe sad our love is gone, but showing pity on us is something we don’t want. Don’t feel sorry for us, because most likely we aren’t feeling sorry for ourselves.
Do– Ask your widow friend if he/she needs anything. Lend an ear to listen. A shoulder to cry on. A punching bag to yell at. Or share a bottle of wine and laugh together. Not on Valentines Day, but maybe a day or two before. Be dileberate with them. Don’t say if you need anything call. Say Ill bring over some wine and a movie and we can chill together.
Do– Acknowledge the feelings without pity. Without tilting your head to the side. I know its easier said then done, because you care. But still offer to be there for them. Allow the emotions to come out and be there and listen. You don’t have to fix anything. But just by being there to listen, you can do a lot of good.
Do– Tell them that you love them and show them and celebrate the friendship you have.
Do– Be respectful of your friend if he or she says they don’t need anything and want to be alone. Respect it.
And if you are one of those people, who feel compelled to do something for widow friend here are some ideas that would be nice and welcomed
- Take her some comedy movies with a Valentine’s Day survival kit of chocolates and other sweets.
- If you have a picture of her late husband/wife or of the couple orfamily, frame it. Or, send it via email. Include a note with a good memory of the deceased husband/wife
- By phone or in person, ask her about her favorite Valentine’s Day memories and/or share your good memories of her husband. Example: “I know you’re probably thinking about him today, and I wanted you to know that I am thinking about him,too. I remember when he [recall a fond or funny memory].”
- Send your handyman to her house for a full day of fix-it.
- If the widow has children, take the initiative to make thingshappen. If she has young children, get them to create Valentine’s Day cards for mom. Include words such as “We know Daddy still loves you…and so do I” or “You are greatly loved.” If her children are around junior-high age, take them to the store to help them buy a small gift and card for their mother. If they’re teenagers who can drive, remind them in a friendly way via text or a phone call how much their mother would appreciate a Valentine’s Day remembrance.
- Select something to do that will bring a lot of fun and laughter.
- If you want to give something to a widow but you feel uncomfortable, you can do so anonymously.
Overall Valentines Day is to celebrate love. I know many people don’t celebrate valentines day because its cheesy and commercial. But I ask that this year you take time to celebrate love. Be it the love you have for your family, the love you have for your friends, the love you have for your significant other, celebrate love. With all the hate that is going on in the last little while, lets spread love. Sprinkle it deliberately on all you do. Show love all day everyday. Happy Valentines Day.
Id love to hear how you are planning on sharing love. Comment below.