I recall vividly my first Valentine’s Day as a widow, four years ago. I knew there would be no one to buy a small chocolate gift for, nor was there a gift to be received from my husband who had passed away nine months before. Knowing how special days can weigh on someone who is facing them alone, especially for the first time, I decided to think ahead and create my own day of fun.
Thinking about various ways I could spend the day, I settled on celebrating in a low-key manner with close friends. I felt I really didn’t need to be alone on a day when most couples celebrate or think of each other, thus reminding me of what I didn’t have. And since my kids were older, they were off on their own adventures.
A Single Gal’s Plan Of Action
After deciding on a plan of action, and unwilling to spend the day alone, I treated myself and invited two girlfriends out to dinner with me. It was a way to be with others who I cared about and I knew cared about me. It was also a way to bring some light-hearted normalcy to my social life, which was seriously lacking. I had turned down several dinner invitations during the cold winter months and holidays. I had tended to isolate myself, so our dinner was an unexpected delight – an enjoyable evening of conversation and laughter, something I hadn’t experienced in some time.
I talked and connected with two people who I’d known for some years, and to whom I’d grown closer since the loss of my husband. By dinner’s end I was thankful that I’d thought ahead to create new memories, and thankful for the support of my friends. It felt good to laugh again, a simple joy. Afterwards, we went to see a movie, a lighthearted comedy that brought up more laughter.
Finding Joy And Laughter This Valentine’s Day
At the end of the evening, once I was back in my own home, I remembered that in grief, or divorce, we are missing an important part of what once was — but it doesn’t mean there has to be an absence of joy and laughter in our lives. You can smile again, even if at first it’s only one evening at a time.