Without a partner on whom to bestow bouquets and sweets, this Valentine's Day could be less about roses and truffles and more about your own loneliness and loss. Here, five ways to get through the day with more grace than grief.
Forget the aphrodisiacs.
Bring on the antidepressants.
About one out of three boomers are single -- whether by choice, circumstance or loss of a partner due to divorce, death or dementia.
And without a partner on whom to bestow bouquets and heart-shaped carbohydrates, this weekend could be less about roses and truffles — which it may appear to be for everyone else on the planet— and more about your own loneliness and loss.
But there are ways to get through the day with more grace than grief.
Even for those recently widowed, Valentine's Day doesn't have to be only a reminder of what's missing.
"The first Valentine's Day or any special day after your spouse/partner has died can seem impossible to bear," acknowledges Aruna Ogale "You may be still mourning and the thoughts of past celebrations together can cut deep, but those same memories can help you cope with the day."
It can be an occasion to recall and celebrate the love there was. And to realize that, even though the partner is not here, the love lives on.
Other singles can also find meaning in Valentine's Day.
There's no law that says it has to be reserved for romantic or erotic love.
It's a good opportunity to treat kids you love and people you like.
That's what Lee Failes does on Valentine's Day.
"I focus on my kids," says the mother of three who were teenagers when their father died. "I get them little treats. If I ever have grandkids, it will be about them, not me."
Failes, 54, has been widowed for more than four years. Her husband Mike, a labour lawyer in Toronto died of gall bladder cancer in September 2012, nine months after being diagnosed.
Until then, she says, "He was a very vibrant, full-of-life guy."
She's found anniversaries, birthdays and Christmas the hardest to bear.
That first Christmas was going to be pretty awful, she recalls, "So we went to New York for part of it. We'd never been there. In retrospect, it was a really nice idea. We had a good time."
Valentine's Day is less of a challenge for Failes.
"For Mike, it was more like a chore," she says ruefully, "more like he had to go and get flowers."
Still, she admits, "I might get a bit jealous if I hear my friends are getting gifts or flowers from their husband. I'll think they're very lucky and I might have a tinge of pity for myself.
"But then I'll think about something nice for my kids — and maybe for myself, too."
Click through for 5 ways to get through the day with more grace than grief.
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