As a woman who became a young widow on Valentine's Day, it used to crush me, I'll be honest and transparent. Losing your beloved spouse and best friend on a holiday that is focused primarily on romantic love between two people can be a big emotional trigger and downer.
Those triggers can ruin any speck of joy that has found its way into your life like nothing else out there.
That's why I have a Valentine's Day message for you this year that is different. A healing message that I hope you will accept as close to big virtual hug as possible.
Although this day was devastating to me for seriously well over a decade (complicated grief), I stumbled through it in a variety of ways looking back on it. Some years I stayed in bed, ignoring that my life was actually shattered after the most romantic Valentine's date with my husband. Then there are the years that I shared myself in acts of kindness to others, definitely felt better than staying in bed, but still just as hard to push through every minute.
Having young daughters also made the day complicated, as schools promote the swapping of loving and fun cards which sometimes were directed back to me (the mom) or not (I think every mom should receive one regardless). But as they grew up and started to find their own personal idea of romantic love, they were less focused on the love I had with their dad (oh, so long ago) and I was fine with that.
What I've learned after two decades of Valentine's Days as a widow, solo mom, single woman and human being is this..... you get to create a Valentine's Day in whatever way you wish- comprised of your own version of what LOVE means to you!
My preference is to see love on an expanded and very broad perspective.
So in 2022, I've got a new theme: Funny Valentine.
I'll be loving on my kitty's because it's good to destroy their reputation.
For all my girlfriends on Galentine's Day, here's all the feels.
For all the COVID19 pandemic "I'm over it" friends this Valentine's Day.
For all those who have taught me so much about being annoying, then turning around to look in the mirror for one more life lesson.
For any future romantic partner on the horizon, I'm willing to go all out when the time is right.
For that 'forever' relationship based off Disney fairy tales, yet in reality, we know isn't exactly how it goes.
If anything, I've learned to find the fun and creativity in my rebuilt life that seems to always be under construction. Even and especially on Valentine's Day, one of the most pivotal days of my life, I can find a perspective that fits my life in the now. That's how love, loss and life merge after decades of attempting to understand it all. It was happening when I didn't know it.
How you choose to pivot in widowhood around the topic of love and Valentine's Day is all in your hands. And whatever you choose, it's the right choice for you. Remember, when you love always in all ways, love will find you. I hope this made you smile...even just a little :)
Happy Love Day (self-love first),