Valentine’s Day Grief and Older Adults

Tips and Activities for a Happy Day

Valentine's Day Grief: Adult daughter consoling grieving mother

Valentine’s Day Grief

Grief can make Valentine’s Day a difficult holiday for older adults who have lost a spouse. Losing a partner is one of the hardest things someone can go through, and the emotions that come with it can be overwhelming. During Valentine’s Day, these emotions can be magnified, as it is a holiday that is centered around love and togetherness.

For those who have lost a spouse, memories of past Valentine’s Days can be particularly bittersweet. Seeing couples celebrating and showing affection can be a painful reminder of what they have lost. It is common for those who have lost a spouse to feel sad, lonely, and even angry on Valentine’s Day. It is important to remember that these feelings are normal and valid and that it is okay to grieve.

How You Can Help

Despite the challenges, it is possible for older adults who have lost a spouse to have a happy Valentine’s Day. Family and friends can play a big role in making the day enjoyable for them. Here are some ways to support someone who has lost a spouse on Valentine’s Day:

Ways to support

  • Reach out to them: A simple phone call, text message, or card can make a big difference. Let them know that they are not alone and that you are thinking of them.
  • Spend time with them: Invite them to spend the day with you, or make plans to visit them. Having someone to talk to and share memories with can help to lift their mood.
  • Do something special: Surprise them with a special activity or treat, like a spa day, a movie, or a fancy dinner. Doing something out of the ordinary can bring a smile to their face and create new memories.
  • Give them a gift: A thoughtful gift, such as a photo album or a sentimental piece of jewelry, can show them that you care and help them to feel loved.

Activities To Do

  • Go for a walk: Getting outside and enjoying the fresh air can be a great way to spend time together and clear their mind.
  • Take a cooking class: Cooking together can be a fun and interactive way to spend the day. Plus, the end result is delicious!
  • Visit a museum or art exhibit: Visiting a museum or art exhibit can be a great way to get out of the house and explore new things together.
  • Play games or watch a movie: Spending time together playing games or watching a movie can be a great way to relax and have fun.

It is important to remember that everyone grieves in their own way. There is no right or wrong way to feel on Valentine’s Day. If someone you know is struggling, it may be helpful to direct them to a support group or counselor who can provide additional resources and support.

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Liz Craven
Author: Liz Craven

Liz Craven, along with her husband Wes, owns Pro-Ad Media, publisher of Sage Aging ElderCare Guide, serving the local community for over 28 years. Liz lives in Lakeland and is very active in the local community, specifically in the area of aging. Liz serves on a number of local boards and committees including the Lakeland Vision and Age Friendly Lakeland.