Valentine’s Day is not at the top of our favorite holiday list around here, grief or no grief. If facing the holiday has you wanting to crawl under the covers and hide for the day, we totally support you. We are all for sulking spent holidays every now and again.
If you are looking for some practical tricks and tips to “celebrate” the holiday, read our advice here. It may just inspire you to actually change out of your pajamas on the 14th… No pressure though.
In considering today’s post, I was strongly leaning toward ignoring the holiday altogether… but figured some of you may be here actually seeking something helpful, you grief-overachievers. With the impending snowpocalypse here on the East Coast, it only seems appropriate to suggest you grab your journal to keep from going totally stir crazy. It has been quite a while since we have done a journaling post around here, so the timing couldn’t be better.
Let me back up for this one. A few years ago, I was an avid follower of the “Good Grief Blog: A Scrapbooking Journey Through Grief and Healing”, a blog that is (sadly) now longer online. The irony is staggering, in that I am decidedly not crafty and have never scrapbooked. Ever. But the prompts on this blog were great and I was inspired by the incredible scrapbooking work of others. I mean, not inspired enough to actually try scrapbooking, but inspired none the less. Conveniently for me, a lot of the Good Grief Blog prompts translate well into journaling, allowing me to use the prompts for all their wonderful, therapeutic value—without the shame and embarrassment of trying to scrapbook.
There is one prompt there that has stuck with me and crosses my mind often on days of wallowing. Let me start by saying this: If you are looking for a prompt like “Write about they ways your love for the person you lost lives on” or “Write about your gratitude for the love you shared with the person you lost”, this ain’t it. Those are great prompts to take for a spin if you are looking for some positivity this Valentine’s Day. If you are looking to wallow under the covers with your journal, take this prompt for a spin: The “Photos You Wish You Had” Prompt. This one is bittersweet. Those photos we wish we had are often fond memories, things we wish we could see just one more time. So many times when I think of my favorite memories of those I’ve lost, I realize they fall into the “photos I wish I had” category—my grandmother cooking in her little row house kitchen, me and my dad on the metro in D.C., etc.—the simple little moments that never would have seemed worth a photo until they were gone. Here is the challenge as it was original featured on the Good Grief blog:
This challenge is one that’s dear to my heart. List the photos you wish you had. As scrapbookers and family documenteers, photos are like gold to us. Not having specific ones cuts us to the core. I know you understand what I’m talking about. So. Rather than just dwell on what we don’t have, I find that just saying what it is that we want is often therapeutic. Try it. 😉
This Valentine’s Day, write about the photos you wish you had. Maybe they’re photos you wish you had of Valentine’s Days in years past, or maybe they’re photos you wish you had of the everyday moments. Whatever they are, spend some time listing them, writing about them, and remembering them. Though the photographs may not exist, it is amazing the sights, smells, and sounds we carry with us.
What are you waiting for? Download our journal page below and journal away:
If you are feeling really inspired, leave us a comment with some of the photographs you wish you had this Valentine’s Day. And, while you’re at it, subscribe!
You can also check out some of our other posts about grieving on Valentine’s Day: Valentine’s Day Grief, in Six Words and Valentine’s Day, You Make Me Feel Like a Box of Old Love Letters.