Valentine’s Day is a special time to be with those you love most. When you’ve lost a loved one, the holiday can feel like something that must be endured and not enjoyed. If you’re grieving the loss of your partner, it can be tempting to deny the feelings of heartache and loneliness that pop up on February 14. Doing this often only serves to magnify them.

At Sunset View Cemetery & Mortuary, our compassionate staff knows how difficult it is to miss someone at this particular time of year. We encourage our neighbors in Berkeley, Kensington, and El Cerrito to let themselves feel and allow emotions to pass over them, however overwhelming these might be. Here are a few helpful things to keep in mind when you’re grieving a partner’s loss on Valentine’s Day.

It’s okay to opt out of celebrations.

There’s no hard and fast rule that says everyone must celebrate Valentine’s Day. Less universal than Christmas, it’s often celebrated exclusively by couples or small groups of friends. Some people even host anti-Valentine’s Day events as a way of celebrating the holiday. If this helps you cope with your grief, there is no shame in taking an alternative approach to making—or not making—plans for the day.

Grief comes in waves.

It’s normal to feel closer to your grief on a significant day like Valentine’s Day. Try not to judge yourself about where you are in your grief or how badly you miss your loved one. Do your best to shift your focus to the good times you had with your partner. You most likely have special memories you shared with them every February so let yourself reminisce on you and your partner’s most memorable Valentine’s Day celebrations. If you feel up to it, you might even recreate these memories or settings as a way to honor your loved one’s memory.

Valentine’s Day is just a day.

At times, celebrating Valentine’s Day without your partner can feel unimaginable or simply something you don’t want to do. Try to keep perspective and remember that it’s just a day in an entire year. You can spend it however you like, whether that’s staying at home and reading a book or going out to a restaurant for a dinner with friends.

At our funeral home, we understand the difficult journey of grief, especially when it involves the loss of a beloved partner. For help moving through your grief, reach out to our compassionate staff today.