Grieving a loved one is hard, especially on Valentine’s Day – a holiday all about celebrating love and your loved ones. Have a read of our top tips to help you get through this Valentine’s Day.

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How do we face Valentine’s Day when someone you love has died? Just as you’ve made it through the grief of the festive season and New Year, along comes February 14th to stir up feelings of loss and sorrow once more.

Valentine’s Day is traditionally a time where people celebrate their love for each other, but for those whose hearts are grieving for their partner, it can be a lonely and isolating time. Both the day itself and the lead up to it can be really hard, and it’s okay to be unhappy.

But remember, you are not alone. Yes, Valentine’s Day can be difficult to celebrate if you’ve recently lost someone. But, there are several ways you can reframe the day, and even find moments of joy to help fill the hole where love once lived.

1. Acknowledging your feelings

Amid the sea of heart-shaped decorations and declarations of love, it’s crucial to acknowledge your own feelings. Whether it’s the first Valentine’s Day after the death of your partner, or decades have passed, it can be a painful reminder of what’s changed and it’s only natural that you would miss the special person in your life.

For some, Valentine’s Day may not stir up much emotions, but the themes that relate to it – love, relationships and togetherness – can be hard to handle. Grief is a complex journey and each person’s experience is unique. It’s okay to feel a mix of emotions without judgement. Your feelings are valid and acknowledging this is the first step towards healing.


That might be speaking to them out loud, or silently. You could write them a letter, or visit a special place – either with family or on your own.

Looking at photos may also help to remember the good times.

2. Honouring memories

Special days like Valentine’s Day can play a role in helping us keep the memories of our loved ones alive.

Celebrating the love you shared by continuing the Valentine’s Day traditions you enjoyed as a couple may bring you a sense of comfort and hope. Whether it’s lighting a candle, revisiting cherished places or looking through old photographs, actions can hold significant healing power.

Sharing stories and reminiscing with others who also hold those memories close can also be a beautiful way to honour the love you shared.

3. Self-care strategies

During difficult times, self-compassion becomes paramount. Acknowledge your limitations, be gentle with yourself and recognise the need for self-care.

You shouldn’t feel pressured to be upbeat and sociable, or to conform to societal norms if it will negatively impact your emotional wellbeing. Grieving is always difficult, and even little things can have an emotional impact. Instead focus on doing things that make you happy. Whether it’s an indulgent bubble bath, ordering your favourite takeaway, treating yourself to a bunch of flowers, enjoying a solo movie night, or immersing yourself in a creative activity like art or writing, find what feels right for you.

This could also be a chance to start new Valentine’s Day traditions that honour the past while embracing the present.

4. Connecting with others

If a friend or relative was feeling sad, you would want to help cheer them up. Reach out to friends and family for emotional support, tell them how you are feeling and let them know how they can offer to help.

Sharing your feelings can be therapeutic, helping to foster a sense of connection and understanding. Plan to spend time with the people who you are closest to, celebrating the love that is around you. If needed, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A trained therapist can provide extra support and guidance that is tailored to your unique grieving process.

Finally, it’s important to reiterate that feeling sad on Valentine’s Day is entirely normal. Allow yourself the time and space you need to heal gradually. Remember that support is available. You are not alone on this journey. Be kind to yourself, and don’t forget that it’s perfectly okay to take things one step at a time. The team at GriefLine is here to offer support.

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