Monday, February 1, 2010

Getting thru Valentine's Day with a Broken Heart

~ By Cherie Houston

February 1st 2010 and we've made it thru our first holiday season without our son Bobby: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years and lurking just around the corner is Valentines Day. My reaction to the chocolates, heart shaped cards and stuffed animals surprised me - it actually took my breath away - but then again, Valentines is more than just a holiday for lovers.

As soon as our children begin school, so does the tradition of sharing valentines and so, it is another holiday that reminds us of special times we’ve shared with our children and for those moms who have lost infants, it is a reminder of special times that will never be… Either way, the sense of overwhelming loss is once again thrust at us.

At first I feared it would be another painful day, but I don’t think it has to be.  Instead I hope we can celebrate our love for them - nothing and no one can ever take away the love you shared with your children, so we should honor them – celebrate that mutual love.  As usual I searched the internet for suggestions and found several that I think apply to those of us who are remembering our children who are gone too soon  ..

I believe what is important is for each of us to find a special way to celebrate their memory and their relationship with us no matter how brief their stay with us might have been… We are who we are because of them - no matter how short their stay - and that is something to celebrate for sure…
  • Honor your Valentine’s Day traditions – do them in your children’s memory.
  • Write them a valentine or note and save it in your memory box (if you’ve done this in the past, explore your memory box and enjoy the memories)
  • Decorate and light a special candle in their honor
  • Write them a note, put it in a balloon and send it off towards their new home in heaven
  • Volunteer some time – whether it’s at a hospital, shelter, hospice, or food pantry-there’s no doubt that helping someone else can ease our pain
  • Listen to their favorite songs
  • Look back thru pictures or videos if you have them - it's okay to smile and it's okay to cry
  • If your child was older, consider sharing the day with his or her young family, it might help you all as you share memories together
  • Make your loved one’s favorite breakfast or dinner and enjoy it in their memory 
As with all holidays, special days and anniversaries the anticipation is often worse than the day itself. But being prepared for the day helps us to get thru it – the important thing is to remember our children, remember our love for them and their love for us, and as moms, that is something we do without the tag of Valentines Day..

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