Valentine’s Day is a difficult day for people who are alone, especially those who are alone because of the death of their beloved.
For many who are left behind, it’s generally hard seeing couples you used to hang out with, doing things, making plans. It’s even harder when they tell you about it, with no regard for how it makes you feel. (It makes you sad, then mad, then sad again.) It’s hardest of all on Valentine’s Day, especially for the romantics who made a big deal about the day.
Jeff and I did not celebrate the day, which makes this no different from any other day for me, but it’s still, it’s hard to ignore this celebration of couplehood. So this year, I didn’t ignore it. I made heart cookies. I was going to pass them out to everyone I know, but making these embossed and painted cookies is a huge undertaking. Since I greatly underestimated how long it would take and the effort I would need to expend, I was only able to make a few. I reserved them for the woman I work for and another one or two people who are alone today. (Including me. Though I generally don’t eat cookies, I figured since I was one of those who are alone today, I might as well indulge.)
Making the cookies for some reason made the day seem more like Valentine’s Day when I was very young, where all the kids in my class brough valentines for one another. The valentines and the sentiment didn’t really mean anything back then. It wasn’t even something just between friends. It was mostly a break in the routine, something fun to do.
And so it was this year. Making these cookies was simply a break in my routine, something fun to do. Besides, I had a heart-shaped cookie cutter that had never been used, and what better day to use it than today?
Next year, perhaps, I’ll get started early and make enough to spread around a bit more, but for this year, it was enough — enough for me, I mean — to make an effort.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.