Valentine’s Day Grief and Older Adults

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 celebrate and show 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 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.


Disclaimer: The content on this site is meant for general informational purposes and should not be considered professional advice. While we strive for accuracy, we recommend consulting experts for specific guidance. We are not responsible for any decisions made based on this information.


Liz Craven
Liz Craven

Liz Craven, co-publisher of Sage Aging ElderCare Guide alongside her husband Wes, brings a blend of personal experience and heartfelt dedication to her work. Their path in eldercare started with a family story — caring for Wes' grandmother, Mabel, who faced Alzheimer's. This personal chapter not only highlighted the complexities of eldercare but also ignited their passion to support others in similar situations. Later, Liz and Wes filled the caregiver role three more times for their parents. Through the Sage Aging ElderCare Guide, Liz offers a mix of empathetic insight and practical advice, making eldercare more approachable and less daunting for families. Her commitment shines through in every piece of advice, aiming to ease the journey for others as they navigate the world of eldercare.

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