Missing Our Valentine

Valentine’s Day is a day for love, and a day to celebrate with those you love. It’s also another holiday to remember your child, who can no longer celebrate with you. It is a difficult day for all of us who grieve the loss of our child or children.

So I say, embrace Valentine’s Day as a special day to commemorate your child and celebrate your love for him or
her. Death may end our child’s life, but it does not end the relationship we had and still have. Bonds of love are
never severed by death, nor is the love we shared with our child.

What can we do to celebrate this day? I am a writer and what better way than write about my child. I can do a
poem, an anecdote, a letter, a song, or a story about something memorable she did for me on Valentine’s Day.
As an example, my daughter never forgot to give me a card. Nor did she ever let her dad forget. She then had to
check out not only the card he bought but also the gift as well. A stamp of approval meant we could all go out for
dinner to celebrate. I wish I had kept all the cards she gave me. I only have a few. Usually, they were cute cards
with a touch of humor, while her father’s cards were more on the romantic side.

Another thing you can do is to go on a short trip to a special location you both loved. I remember one year,
Valentine’s Day fell on a weekend, so we all went to romantic Sedona, AZ, to celebrate with my daughter and her
boyfriend at the time. I have gone back to Sedona on special occasions and immerse myself in the healing power of remembrance.

This Valentine’s Day, light a special candle for your child. Perhaps do it every Valentine’s Day and continue that
tradition as you remember the good times you shared. Or make it a holiday where you decide that since it is
February, and Arbor Day is around the corner, you will plant a tree at your child’s school.

Talk about your child to anyone who will listen. You will find that people do care and do remember him or her.
They may even contribute to the conversation something they, too, remember about your child. Recently, I had that experience, and it made my day.

Volunteer some time to an organization that could use your help. Do it in honor of your child. It could be a child-related organization, a pet organization (if your child had special pets), or a local hospice group. Doing something
good for others can help ease your pain.

If you work in an office, show your thoughtfulness to colleagues by cooking a nice dish and bringing it. If cooking
is not one of your strengths, buy a Valentine cake to share. There is nothing wrong with celebrating the occasion
with those whom you work with all year long. It can also strengthen your workplace relationships.

For those who work for you (for example, the newspaper boy, your doctor, your housecleaner, or the postal
worker), present each with a small token gift like a white rose or a little chocolate box. The smile you get in return
will make the gesture worthwhile.

Finally, be creative on this day and make a Valentine’s Day craft, like your child used to do for you. It can be a
home decoration item for the rest of your family to enjoy or even given as a gift for a loved one. Use materials
easily available around the house.

My wish for all of you on this holiday is that you always have wonderful memories, accented with a smile, a laugh,
or a giggle, and remember your child, who cannot be with you physically on this day but will always be with you in
your heart.

Sandy Fox 2011

She is the author of another grief book, “I Have No Intention of Saying Good-bye.” “I Have No Intention of Saying Good-bye” tells the stories of 25 sets of parents and how they moved on with their lives after the death of their child, offering hope and survival techniques. Sandy has headed two national bereavement conferences for childless parents and spoken for many years at The Compassionate Friends National conferences, POMC, and across the U.S. to a variety of bereavement groups.

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