Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day


My husband was a romantic.  Valentine's Day was certainly no exception.  I always got a sweet card and flowers or a small gift.  He always tried to do something to show me how special I was to him.

For the past 5 years I have tried everything to make myself feel special on Valentine's Day.  The first year after Lane died I cooked myself a fancy dinner and opened a nice bottle of wine.  It was awful -- food and wine.  In the later years I tried to make Valentine's Day about me feeling special with a manicure, a facial or a massage.  While all these things were nice they certainly didn't make me feel special the way his smile did.

So here we are another Valentine's Day.  I know now that nothing I do for myself comes close to making me feel special the way Lane did.  On Valentine's Day and every other day he never failed to tell me how much I meant to him and special I made him feel.

To me Valentine's Day is one of those grin and bear it days.  You just plow through it alone, feeling sad that your special Valentine isn't with you.  Personally, I am just doing what I do any other Tuesday.  But maybe a little retail therapy could me feel special for an hour or two?

How do you feel about Valentine's Day-- now and then?

Sue

35 comments:

  1. Yes, it is a "grin and bear" it kind of day... Last year, February 14th was the last normal day of my life. Kent got me a dozen red roses (2 are in his hands in his coffin) and we exchanged cards, smiles, laughter and love. I knew we were both coming down with a cold, but we cooked a great dinner, played pool and had an amazing night (like usual). The next day all hell broke loose. We had the flu, he had phemonia coming on and it hit his heart valve. He died 3 days later on the 18th. Hard to believe.. Poof! Gone... Tough week ahead for me, but I've come a long way in the year. Trying to stay on course... "Happy Valentine's Day." Trish...

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  2. I'm having a hard time this year. Richie will be gone 2 years on the 7th of March. I can't just try to forget the day it is also my youngest daughter's birthday. So I need to try and be happy. I will have to not think about the day that has so many special memories for me. "Grin and bear" it that is what I am going to try to do this evening for my daughter.

    Sue I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have this blog to go to . You will never know how much you have help me . Just knowing that I am not alone is a great help.

    Being able to read all your stories and know that what I feel is not wrong. I hope this day goes by fast .

    Thank you for listening.

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  3. I agree. We just push through this day. Maybe a little retail therapy...try looking at the new spring styles and get ideas. I will say a prayer for him and me. I will take money that would purchase flowers and set it aside for my Spring garden.
    I don't know what I'd do without this site either! It's good to know that other people know how we feel. In our society we are just supposed to pretend that we are OK. It does help so much to read about the feelings and thoughts of others going through the same things.
    Good wishes to all of you!
    Sue

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  4. With just a tinge of resentment at all the hype leading up to Valentine's Day, I keep going back to the last one we shared.

    My husband had just finished tests the week before and was waiting on the results of the mass in his lung and I was preoccupied and only concerned about that. He was so elated that I was surprised when he had a huge bouquet of red roses delivered. As I look back at that somber day, he made it extra special 'just in case' it was the last one. He died six months later. The bittersweet memory of that Valentine's Day is everlasting.

    Today is a delightful one for couples, as it should be. I just hope they don't take it for granted.

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  5. When we were young and romantic, the future stretched on forever. Valentine's Day was thought of and celebrated in a romantic way. As we grew older, we were so comfortable with each other that we simply exchanged cards and went out to eat. And now--this first Valentine's Day without him, all I can think of is that a year ago we had no clue we would be celebrating our last Valentine's Day as a couple. I agree with Katie that this is a delightful day for couples and I, too, hope they don't take it for granted. He died the second of January, so this marks the very first special day in this year of "firsts". I don't think I did too bad: my brother took me out to eat at a restaurant that was so familiar to my husband and me. In a way it was comforting and I did well until I returned home--to an empty house and just memories (sigh). Judy

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  6. I'm having a hard time with this "first" also. I always thought that the hype of Valentine's Day put too much pressure on my husband and sons so for years we threw a birthday party for our dog, a mutt named Butter, who was born on Valentine's Day. Butter lived to be 17 so there were a lot of celebrations. Dogs (we also had a bulldog named Puck) and people had steaks and all the trimmings. The dogs ate on people plates in the dining room and it was fun for the whole family - our own strange little tradition.
    Tonight I am by myself with the company of a new dog. Puck and Butter died of old age and Ed died in April at the much too young age of 59. I've been thinking tonight about how I wished I had known to thoroughly savor every wonderful moment that we had. It's so easy to take people and time for granted. Now I'm finding grief makes it hard for me to truly live in the moment with my children and friends. I know that is probably regretable too but I miss Ed so much.
    Thanks so much for listening.

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  7. I am sad. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am not alone thanks to you and all your followers

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  8. I was dreading this day, my first Valentine's Day without my husband who never missed a romantic gesture throughout our 55 years together.
    Today, my husband's brother called to wish me a happy day and then his best friend sent a card. My sisters took me out to lunch. My brother-in-law took the time to tell me that he admired my grace under the circumstances. Tonight I got several beautiful and loving email wishes from friends and family who were all concerned about me having to endure this day alone.
    Valentine's Day is all about love; it is not only a couples celebration, but a celebration of love between people. So, I tried to flip from feeling sad and lonely on this special "lover's day" to the sweet realization that I am loved by many.

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  9. It has been six weeks since my husband died. This Valentine's Day is my first "holiday" without him. I keep telling myself I'm getting better, but I don't know who I'm trying to fool. Mostly, I'm trying as hard as I can to confine my thinking about him to late at night so I can function during the day.

    All the people who said they'd be there for me are off having their own special day with their special someone. I'm forgotten. I can understand that, and anyway, what does a person say in such a situation. But today something...just a word or two...would have been better than nothing.

    I guess it wouldn't have mattered. The word or two that I really want will never be coming my way again.

    To say I'm depressed seems like such an understatement. At least this day is over now and I can go to bed. Tomorrow is bound to be a better day.

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    1. My husband died 7 weeks ago, and I know exactly how you feel. Exactly.

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  10. Valentine's Day was never a really big thing for my husband and I but he did always bring flowers and a nice card. I have never been a fan of it but now that I don't have a valentine and everyone around me does, it is a painful day. This was my 2nd Valentine's Day without him and it was not any easier than the first. It is hard not to resent others having what I lost, but I am working really hard not to go there. I am praying in time, it will just be another day that I can reflect on the happy times and not feel as much pain.

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  11. Thankful that I just found this blog. My husband died Feb. 8, 2012. We had shared 48 Valentine's Day together since we started dating at 16. I don't know how I will live happily without the love of my life. Valentine's came and my friends and family sent flowers and candy. Phone calls helped. Right now I am just marking days on the calendar. When will it get easier?

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    1. My husband passed away on Feb 2, 2012 at the age of 47. We have been together for 26 years. Valentine's Day was almost more painful than the day I lost him, as it was a great reminder of never spending that day with the love of my life again. I have 2 young children, my 9 yr old daughter loves Valentine's Day and tried to make it special for me. I just wanted you to know that you are not alone.

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  12. My Sweetheart has been gone 6 weeks. I just wanted to post BAH HUMBUG about Valentine's Day, but...at 7:00 p.m. the doorbell rang and a dozen red roses appeared and I was told, "These are from Fred." Well--I lost it because that is exactly what he would have given me for Valentine's Day. Apparently Heaven DOES have mail order delivery of roses?

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  13. hello Sue and everyone here,reading the blog ,this is my 3rd time poting in a year and 7 months since my husband passed.i agree with you Sue valentines day does not exist for me ,i do not participate in the celebrating of it.it was just another day at work for me.my husband and i use to exchange cards on the day as we both worked different hours we would go out to one of our favorite resteraunts on th eweekend,instead of on the day.he wouldalways do thoughtful things like fill my car with gaso i wouldn,t have to.he would pick up breakfast for me on any given weekend,or make reservations to go away on the spur of the moment.it does get easier in time,now i remember more of the happier times and the goodmemories,than the obsessing over the day of his passing and the old what ifs.keeping busy witha good book or a hobby or work helpskeep the mind off of things for a while.i hope you all have agood weekend and agood week.

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  14. Missing my husband too. I relate to anonymous comment about not being able to think about your husband during the day so you can function. For me it is 8 months now. All I can do is shut off my heart and mind when it comes to my husband, which I fear is a bad thing. I am trying very hard to be happy again because I have young children. For valentine's day, they wanted to eat at applebee's where we spent the last day with my husband. They were very happy and felt close to him, but it made me very sad and set me back- I've stayed in bed all day today:( At least the day is behind us now.

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  15. A sense of normalcy brings some kind of comfort knowing that others widows feel the same as me. My husband passed away more than 2 years ago, and although, I have come to terms to my new cituation, I feel extremely lonely.
    Valentines Day was yet another reminder that not only he is gone and I stand alone raising our kids, but more importantly, there's no one I can share my heart as I did once before, in comparison to everybody else it seems.

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  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  17. Dear Trish, I am thinking of you today as you reminisce this first year without your husband. I have followed your posts for six months and feel that you two were a dynamic young couple.

    Several months ago, you suggested we google Kent and I did. He seemed to have been an impressive guy. The same goes for you Trish, I admire your fortitude and determination to carry on in a positive way for yourself and family.

    Be kind to yourself today and continue to be proactive in the days ahead.

    By the way, you are the age of my oldest daughter and I have become attached!

    Blessings,
    Katie

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  18. Thank you Katie. :) It's not an easy road we're traveling on into the future. Tough to see Feb 18th on his headstone this morning, but I've made it a year. My friends will be up in a bit and we are going fishing. Kent loved the lake. I'm on fb Katie if you want to friend request me. I go by Patricia. Hugs to all my new friends on this journey... Trish

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  19. To judemiller1,
    I read your comment before you removed it a few days ago.
    You are entering into the depth's of grief, and the reality of his death has begun to hit home in you.
    The "blackouts" and loss of memory is part of the grief process. Ride it out, be kind to yourself. Keep going out with friends and family, keep your journal going. This is an indefinite time of roller coaster emotions, and it will not be an easy road, but you will make it thru.
    May the Lord carry you in His great arms of love, and heal your soul and spirit during this "dark night of the soul". He is there, and He hears our hearts cry.

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  20. Thank you for your comment--it really helps. I removed it because it seemed too long. I haven't cried--didn't cry when he died--didn't cry at the funeral. All of a sudden--six weeks--the tears are coming for no reason at all. Got to crying in church today because I miss him not being there next to me. Hope I didn't embarass anyone. I HATE THIS!!!

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  21. My husband died suddenly with no warning 17 months ago. We were married for 35 years. None of his family ever even calls to see how I am doing. I was always nice to them and good to their children. Our married couple friends have not called at all. If perchance they run into me they tell me that I am doing great. Not true...but that, I guess, is what they like to think without even asking me. My grown children have been great! They have lives of their own and are busy though. I have been going to counseling . It helped a bit for a short while but I feel like I can't meet the counselors expectations anymore. She wants me to believe that I may have a happy life again some day. It makes me feel like she hasn't been listening and has no clue! I do function. I smile and am gracious. My husband was my life partner and best friend. The life that we had together is just not replaceable! I know that some days are better than others and some days are just awful! Some days that I have made it through have been OK....but happy???? I don't think so.
    Sue

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  22. Dear Sue ... and others.

    Indeed, the second year for me has the same markers as yours ... the slowing down of supports and the discomfort of married friends. The first year of grief was about lifestyle ... can I do this without him. This year, I know I can reshape my life so all I have left to grieve is him. As for counselling, I lucked out with Narrative Grief Therapy, whereby, it is about re-membering my husband in my life; transforming our relationship. It was never a fit to exclude him and to move on. There are more okay days today than bad days; however, the bad days continue to be overwhelming. I am thankful for the good days and know that the bad ones are not forever.

    As for Valentine's Day ... I have come to the conclusion that this is my annual ME holiday. Making no plans and simply letting the day move forward, with or without tears, being good to ME ... sleep in? Why not! Go for a walk? Why not! ... etc. The “no plans” makes for no disappointments.

    Breathe my tender hearts!

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  23. This is my first Valentine's without him. I can especially relate to Anonymous Feb 19, 2012 08:43 PM. None of my love's family (nor even mine for that matter) with the exception of our two adult children, ever call or contact me. None of them even sent a card or note of condolence when he passed. What sort of unfeeling, insensitive ass does that?! Do you suppose they were raised by wolves? Sorry, that's an affront to wolves who are far more sensitive and caring than that. My husband's sister lives a quarter mile from me, his cousin directly across from her, his brother only 7 miles down the road, his aunt only 5 miles away. It's as though I died along with him. Even more importantly they didn't reach out to him when it was apparent he had only days left. He had to ask the Hospice chaplain to round them up so he could say goodbye: his sister was on her way to NC and made it very clear that she was quite irritated that she had to come home early. These are people who profess to be Christians. How can people call themselves that and act so holier-than-thou when they're really acting like the Devil? My husband was a far better person than any of them could ever hope to be. If the shoe had been on the other foot he would have been calling or dropping by every day to see what he could do to help out. I have only cried occasionally in the last eight months: you all know the tears I'm talking about, those silent, sad tears you cry when you're all alone. Until yesterday that is, when I had a 'horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day' and I just absolutely lost it. I screamed and cried and howled for more than an hour. Scared the wits out of my cats I'm afraid! I cursed God for taking my love's life from him and for taking him from me, and 'WHY?' when all of these horrible people around me get to still be here on earth. I know there must be a valid reason, but right now I just don't get it. I hope one day I'm made privy to it.

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  24. (Sorry, Sue just couldn't get it all in one post, LOL!)
    I guess the reason I had such an awful breakdown this week was because the 11th was my birthday and our children and I took a long weekend trip to scatter some of his ashes at sea. Good and bad all at the same time -- good because it's what he wanted and we finally were able to do that for him, but bad because it's so final and makes it all so horribly real. So after coming back on Monday night and trying to come to grips with it all, as well as being home alone again, I just fell apart. Then today I had to go the doctor -- finally getting around to taking better care of me which is a positive sign I guess -- but it was the first time I had been there alone. My love and I always went to appointments together even though his visits were more serious and mine were generally just routine. But today was the first time I had set foot in the place since last February and I just lost it. I really scared the poor doc. He didn't really remember me, and didn't know that my love had passed. On one level I can understand that, i.e, lots of patients, you haven't seen us in a year, yada yada yada, but on another level it makes me angry that we've gone to that office for more than 5 years, and none of them realized he had passed away?! It's true that much of his care was provided by his oncologist and not his PCM, but STILL! Of course, even worse, last year I was the one who had to inform his oncologist that he passed away. Yes, shocking to say the least -- not one of those things that you would think a widow would have to do. This can certainly be an unfeeling, cold, impersonal world we live in. Friends say to me 'oh, you're so strong, you're doing so well!' but they have no idea how this feels and how you are simply a shell of who you used to be. You're numb and just going through the motions of day to day living, but you're not really living anymore. Each of these friends need to walk a mile in our shoes and see for themselves what this journey is all about. I know that sounds harsh, but it's so frustrating that the people with all the lovely platitudes have no idea what this is really like. They do so love to make comparisons, however. A person I consider a good friend, and someone I really thought somewhat understood this pain, compared my journey to her losing her 90+ year old grandmother a year ago. Really??! REALLY???!! My dad passed at age 83, and my mom at 92. I still love them and miss them dearly but they had wonderful long lives and had grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I would never have the audacity to compare that loss with the loss of a spouse, most especially a relatively young spouse. Another friend compared this loss to her losing her dog... I dearly love my pets, but losing your husband is not on quite the same level as losing your dog. Sorry but it just ISN'T!!
    This has become more of a rant than a post about Valentine's Day. Thanks to all of you -- I love reading everyone's posts every week, makes me feel as though there are still some people in the world that I can relate to, and who can relate to me.

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  25. Today I am going to my first grief support group. Praying that it helps! I know it has only been two weeks since my Joe died but it feels like he has been gone forever. Everyone thinks I am doing so well and that I am a brave strong woman but my heart is hurting so bad.

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  26. Molly-

    Take comfort in knowing you are not alone in your upset over others "comparisons". I have heard much of the same over the last year. I lost my husband 2/1/11 to cancer after just 4 months, and only 5 weeks after my mom died. They were so ill at the same time, and all the loss is devastating.

    My dad died 35 years ago this month while I was in college. Believe me, I so miss my parents as well, and my dad was a young guy and tragedy (failing health that led to suicide). So I am no stranger to bad loss. But losing my life partner/best friend/mate has taken me to the bowels of despair in a way that no other loss EVER has.

    I am also an animal lover, we always had cats, have three still, love my friends dogs etc. but there is NO COMPARISON in losing our pets to our spouses. And no comparison to those who try to put it on a level with losing there 88 year old uncle etc.

    The counselors all tell me not to "compare" griefs, that everyone feels grief differently, but SORRY, some losses are just way too much more devastating and tragic and loss of love of your life/spouse is just that.

    I am slowly learning to tune them out.

    And yeah, MANY MANY so called "friends" and couples included, have just bailed.

    Have no siblings, but none of my cousins sent a card when he died OR their aunt (my mom and their father's sister). My oldest lifetime friend bailed out on me at month four and have not heard from her since (last May). She felt I had to "move on" and lean on other people, she couldn't always "be there" for me. This the day of my mother's commital. Left and have not heard from her since.

    Death brings out the true colors people. I am opting for the one's who showed compassion and not cruelty towards my broken spirit. Someday it may happen to them, so they should think about that.

    Thank you for the safety of sharing all the pain at this site with everyone. It is a lifesaver in all ways knowing one is not alone in this hellish thing called "widowhood".

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  27. I just want to say thank you to all of you who post. I lost my husband 4 months ago, and have shared many of the same experiences as you. I am not great at writing about how I feel but I appreciate reading what everyone has shared and it helps to know I am not alone. THANK YOU!

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  28. I have recently become a widow,and must say the days are filled with such a lonliness that it is painful. On the outside I am doing as best as possible , but the inside , well I hurt terrible.We were inseperable, almost like velcro held us together, always looking for each other if it was too quiet in the house. Now I try to function without my Lorne and lots of days I just don't. Sure time will heal some of the pain, but for now it is the time inbetween that hurts bad. Thanks for listening. I know lots of you are in the same frame of mind but thought I would put mine in writing. Luce(my nickname from Lorne)

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  29. I am a 6 week widow. The loss is so overwhelming. My husbands pajamas are on the bed, his slippers beside it, his toothbrush in the bathroom. I cannot wash his pillowcase . It smells of him and right now is my crying towel.I am so grateful i found this site and i know i am not alone . thank you for sharing.

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    1. You sound like me. It is now a year since I lost my husband. My husband's pajamas are still on the bed, too, unwashed. I never will wash them. His toothbrush, razor, Lectric Shave, etc. are still in the bathroom. I could go on. I answer to no one. This comforts me and makes me feel closer to him. I remember when we were first married, how I watched him shave with such interest. Keeping his razor close by reminds me of that.

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  30. This is a journey we take on our own. I too hug clothing of Lornes. A fine gentleman, kind and caring,always thanking all who cared for him over and over. What a terrible loss.
    It helps to write out our thoughts.
    Hugs to all that are hurting.
    Luce

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  31. Dear Trish, I lost my Jake, last April 2011 of a sudden heart attack! We were married for 12 years and had no children. Jake, was a loving, kind, faithful husband, the love of my life! I miss him everyday, and i hate this feeling of being completely alone...Just as the other widows, Jake and I exchanged cards and then went out for dinner on the weekend to celebrate Valentines...needless to say going to the stores and seeing all those chocolates and teddy bears and flowers made me wish He was here..We had a fantastic marriage and truly it was Valentines everyday, we didnt have baggage or issues we also shared the same Faith!! so that made our relationship strong and fun and exciting!! .It is hard for those that have not gone thru what is loosing a husband (spouse) to understand the deepness of the hurt.. I also had 3 suppose friends say " When i lost my grandma i felt the same! Or the other one" My divorce was so bad, that i know what you are going thru..But the one that made me decide not to see any of them anymore was when one of these friends said " my daughter although she is alive is like she is dead because of the choices she made in her life... so i understand how you feel ! Really, ladies...you dont have a clue.. this pain is unbearable.. we will never get over loosing our spouses.. we just get use to living without them (because of time passing) other than that is a pain that no one knows until it happens to them. Jake was only 58 and i'm 52 and life without him is always gray... i do hope maybe oneday i will see the blue sky...I have attended Griefshare and I highly reccomend it!! it is healthy and good to be among people who have experienced this type of loss. My Jake, was in the armed forces and last friday the 17th He had a military honor guard memorial it was beautiful and it did bring a little healing to my heart. Of my beloved I miss everything, his voice, his touch , his kissess, his love and affection for me , his arms wrapped around me and i miss that feeling of being married , having my own husband of being happy ..the best years of my life. All we can do is keep going forward and hope and believe that we will see them again and when that happens that reunion of ours is going to be indescribable..no words exist to describe the joy of how we are going to feel that day when our eyes meet again.
    Sue, Thank you for this blog... it truly is a ministry for all of us close and afar.. there is this bond that widows(ers) feel and just knowing that there is one in the same room creates an inmediate connection with that individual , a connection linked by the tears, the loneliness, the fears of the future and the unknown. I also want you all to know that everyone who writes a comment... is so instrumental in our healing.. Although i "ve never met you be assured that all of us who read these comments understands your pain... we are all in the same road and it's not a pleasant one!! and when one gets discouraged then another one can come and help pick us up !! Blessings to each one of you!!

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  32. One year has now passed since I lost my partner.It is a very lonely life without him, but somehow I keep going always trying to stay busy to pass the day but it is the long nights when I do all my sorting, of times together and how well we enjoyed our life together. Hope I can snap out of this and put my life to some use while I can as my health is now failing. Soon it will be summer and I can start my flower garden again, that will help the mind.
    I miss you terribly Lorne, much love from your Lucy girl

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