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Celebrating Valentine’s Day After the Loss of a Loved One

Written by: Jennifer Slobom, Victim Services Coordinator

The month of February brings with it declarations of love and plenty of heart decorations, chocolates, and flowers showcased in every store. Valentine’s Day marks not only a time to spend with romantic partners, but also a time to celebrate the love between family members and friends. Against the backdrop of these celebrations, February can be especially difficult if you’ve experienced the loss of a loved one. Rather than a time of celebration, it can be a time of grief, knowing that you can’t be with someone you love.

Though no one-size-fits-all path to healing exists, there are many therapeutic activities to help you along the way. During this time, it’s important to have a support system, to lean on others, and to remember to incorporate self-care into your daily activities. Focus on yourself and what makes you happy and healthy. What’s something that you haven’t done in a while that once brought you joy? Perhaps there is a hobby you’ve always wanted to pick up?  Painting, reading, hiking, volunteering, driving to a new place, and yoga are some great examples. These can be things you do with others or even by yourself. While it’s important to be around others and have a support system in place, heavy social interaction can also become draining when you’re dealing with grief. It’s okay to set aside time to be alone. Do whatever you need to do to help you in your journey to healing.

If you need someone to talk to, advocates are available on the 24-hour Washington State Crime Victim Service Center hotline at 1-888-288-9221.

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