When Your Favorite Valentine Is No Longer With You: Remembering a Lost Love

February 14, 2024 ◊ By Elisa Everts ◊ |

When Your Favorite Valentine Is No Longer With You: Remembering a Lost Love

Not the Holiday from Hell
You might expect for a single woman like myself who has been single all her life to be grouchy and negative about Valentine's Day. Not a bit of it! Valentines Day in this country has evolved to celebrate all kinds of love (thank you Hallmark) and I think that's a beautiful thing. I revel in it. To this day without fail my blind mother sends me a Valentine's card every year and it is very precious to me. I love having the opportunity to tell my students and my (adopted) daughter and granddaughter how much I love them on this day with flowers and candy and gifts and beautiful words in beautiful cards.

However, I know that if you have lost the love of your life, Valentine's Day can be excruciating. Like Christmas and other holidays we've just celebrated, however, Valentine's Day can be a day for remembering and celebrating the love that you had. Those memories can never be taken from you. You can celebrate them by actively remembering them now. Please don't try to forget. That is not the path to healing. Remembering, lovingly, is the path to healing. Research shows that maintaining a connection beyond the grave is the key to navigating grief successfully. You don't need a medium for this. You just need your memory and your mindfulness.

Ways to Lovingly Remember 
You might write a love letter to your lost one, make her a valentine. You might have a candlelight dinner with her picture at her place. Don't worry what other people might think--they are not going to be there and it is not their loss to process. Pain and beauty are not mutually exclusive. You can make a poignant painful time also a beautiful time, puncturing the darkness with light. Be creative. Use your time to remember fondly.

Celebrate ALL the Love in Your Life

The other thing I urge you to do is celebrate all the love you have still living and laughing and loving all around you. Find a lonely person and send him flowers. Find a needy family and bless them with holiday cookies and a hearty meal (hee hee). Remember your family, your friends, your co-workers. Don't forget the children that you know. When you find ways to express love, to send love out into the universe, love is going to come back to you. Pouring out love on others feels wonderful. Don't miss out on those endorphins.

Practicing Their Presence
One thing I know from all my personal losses is that I can keep my lost loved ones with me. Right beside me, inside me. I can practice their presence. And when I begin to feel their presence in this way more than their absence, I know that I am truly on the road to healing. You can reach a place where your joyful memories outweigh the agony of your loss. You can manage hope.

I pray that your Valentine's Day overflows with love.

I always send mine,

Elisa

Elisa square portrait

About the author

Dr. Elisa Everts is the founder of Evertree Hope Management and is a dynamic public speaker, author and trainer. Dr Everts is passionate about helping cancer patients and bereaved people in their quest to survive and live a full life during and after cancer and grief. She has the personal experience of surviving Stage IV cancer and the loss of many loved ones. She understands the challenges inherent in these experiences and the importance of cultivating hope through the stories we tell others, and even more importantly, to ourselves.

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Elisa Everts, phd

Speaker | Author | Educator

Finding Hope in Cancer & Grief

Elisa Everts, phd

Speaker | Author | Educator

Finding Hope in Cancer & Grief

I speak to medical professionals and patients, helping them provide hope when there seems to be none. If you or your organization need someone to help process the difficult topics of cancer and grief, let's set up a complimentary call, 703-656-6691, ee@elisaeverts.com.

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