MICHAEL FOWLER: Remember the love on Valentine';s Day

CORONER'S COLUMN: The loss of a loved one can be particularly hard to deal with on Valentine's Day

Michael Fowler

Michael Fowler

According to statistics put out last year by CNN, an average $18.6 billion is spent on Valentine’s Day each year.

Now that is a whole lot of loving.

Although Valentine is a holiday that celebrates love and is observed by exchanging candies and gifts with that special someone, for some of us it will serve as a reminder. A reminder that on a day meant for two, you are now a one. A reminder on a day meant for sharing love, you no longer have anyone to share it with.

This Valentine’s Day will be the first day I have spent alone in over 40 years. My wife and I always spent the special day enjoying dinner at our favorite restaurant and rehashing how we met. It’s funny that even after being married for 36 years, we still seemed to have different versions of how it happened.

I miss her dearly, but just because it’s a holiday where love is exemplified between couples doesn’t mean I have to spend it alone. If you’re someone who is dealing with the loss of a spouse or partner, here is some advice on how to get through those next few days.

The first thing is you must do is acknowledge that it’s okay to grieve. Allowing yourself to release those emotions will eventually allow you to lessen the weighted burden of your loss.

As the day approaches, you can conduct your day as you normally would, or choose to continue the traditions that you and your loved one used to do.

You can also choose to honor your significant other. Death does not mean your love has to end. You can have a gathering of close friends and family members and share stories about your loved one. You can also honor them by visiting their grave site.

Valentine’s Day can also be a day where you honor your relationships with those still living. What most people forget is that Valentine’s Day is not just for couples, but can be shared with anyone that you care for. Take the time to let someone special in your life know that they are special to you.

This day can be used to set aside some time for just for you. Do all the things that you enjoy doing. Pamper yourself by exemplifying some self-love; your mind and body will thank you for it.

It is always special to give back, especially on holidays, so as an act of love do something nice for someone else. Volunteer your time with someone else who is in need or help someone else’s dream come true.

So, if you are not sure if you are going to survive this Valentine’s Day without your loved one, step back, take a deep breath, and remember that you are not alone. There is always someone that loves you and even though you may not be able to see them physically, that person will always hold a special place in your heart.

This Valentine’s Day, I plan to take my granddaughter to the restaurant that her grandmother and I held as “our place” for close to two decades. I know as she grows older she will soon have plans of her own on Valentine’s Day, but for now I’m going treasure the moments she chooses to hang out with her dear old granddad.

Michael Fowler is coroner for Dougherty County.