For most, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to demonstrate their affection, or perhaps remember to buy a last-minute gift for someone special – but for those that have experienced the death of a partner or loved one, it can often bring back feelings of grief and upset.
With research from Co-op Funeralcare showing that 73% of people in the South East have experienced the death of a loved one in the last five years, Co-op Funeralcare Strood in Rochester wants to provide advice and support to those who have suffered a bereavement – be it recently or in the past.
Whilst a significant date in the diary – such as Valentine’s Day – is an occasion to celebrate for many, for some it can bring back feelings of grief for those dealing with the death of someone close to them. And, as the research shows, with those who experienced a bereavement in last five years, 3% of people in the South East having dealt with the death of their partner Funeral Arranger Emma Wheeler-Sharpington, wants to offer support to the local community that may be grieving this Valentine’s Day:
- Feel your feelings. It is okay to be sad and to miss people who are no longer around. Allow yourself to express emotion, either by yourself or with someone you love. Remember – there is no ‘correct’ way to mourn a death, so whether the emotions you’re feeling are angry, sad or nostalgic, know it’s ok to feel them.
- Don’t try to fake it. You may want to put a brave face on for other loved ones – but you must give yourself permission to grieve. On those more difficult days, do what will make you feel better and remember there are people around you who care for you and want the best for you. Reach out to someone if you’re feeling low: you’re never alone.
- Take a trip down memory lane. Whilst you may be grieving a loved one, your memories of that person can always be cherished. Perhaps use old photos to bring back memories which may have been forgotten.
- Keep your traditions alive – For some, coming up with a meaningful way to honour their loved one on a difficult day can help. Considering how your loved one would like to be remembered and carrying it out can create a special moment in the day – be it volunteering your time, baking their favourite cake, or even going to their favourite spot for a walk in their honour.
Mike Pengelly, Head of Client Operations said: “Special days like Valentine’s Day can bring about powerful emotions for those who have experienced the death of a loved one – no matter how much time may have passed.
“And it’s important for our community to know that we’re not just here for you whilst planning a funeral but offer continuous support during an otherwise difficult time.
“We hope these tips can help a person navigate through their grief on what could be a potentially difficult day. However, first and foremost, if you do need more support, please visit Co-op Funeralcare and Cruse Bereavement Support’s joint resource page or pop into your local Co-op Funeral home to speak to one of our team.”
For those looking for further support, Co-op Funeralcare is working in partnership with Cruse, helping to bring communities together to help one another when navigating through grief.