11 Jun Grief when you’re looking for love
Alone on that special day …
Your birthday – an anniversary – Valentine’s Day – New Year’s Eve?
Some special days and events are powerful reminders of the fact that someone very important is missing from our life, Days such as Valentine’s Day, birthdays and anniversaries, they are examples of one of those very special days that can create an immense amount of painful emotional energy.
For those of us who have lost a partner, are looking for love, are divorced, or may not have the relationship of our dreams, the flood of images and sentimental relationship posts on social media may be overwhelming and exacerbate our feelings of loneliness.
We may also find ourselves triggered by certain aspects of the occasion – perhaps the sweets in the shops or couples walking hand in hand may remind us of past holidays with someone we are missing.
Many of us don’t realise all of the possible “losses of love” that can result in grief:
• A relationship that never came to fruition
• A past breakup
• Divorce or separation
• Long-distance relationship or a move away from a partner
• Loss of a loved one without a romantic attachment
• Unrequited love
• Longing for a relationship
A quick internet search will tell you that loneliness is best resolved by “keeping busy”. We are told to distract ourselves and go out with friends, declutter our homes, or treat ourselves to something special.
But does that really help, or does it push down feelings that perhaps just need to be felt?
When we are triggered, it reveals an aspect of our lives that still needs to be healed. By acknowledging our grief instead of trying to ignore it, we take the first step toward recovery. We can spend our anniversary by staying in bed and hiding under the covers, or we can identify some relationships or feelings that are still unresolved. Instead of isolating ourselves, it is important to reach out to a friend who will listen or share in some of our happy memories, or it may be the right time to order a copy of the Grief Recovery Handbook.