by Debra Johnson, M. Div and Bereavement Coordinator
February brings cold weather and precipitation. In Massachusetts where I grew up, February brought the promise of snow days. In Texas, ice storms bring the same childhood happiness.
But casting a shadow over the month is Valentine’s Day – red hearts, chocolate-covered strawberries, and fancy cards with expressions of love. These references are everywhere. While they may bring joy and fond memories to some people, to those who are mourning they bring stark reminders of what they have lost.
Love is patient; love is kind. Love bears all things, believes all thing, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. I Corinthians 8
When someone we love dies, we lose that person’s physical presence in our lives. We can no longer see them or touch them. However, we do not lose the love we shared. It remains with us. But what does that mean?
A loving relationship changes us forever. If you are grieving the loss of a spouse, think about what you were like when you met that person. How are you different? Does a day go by when you are not reminded of that person’s love because of something you do?
2018 was the 100th anniversary of my mother’s birth and I decided we should have a cake and celebrate. My 4-year-old grandson knew her from pictures, but he wanted to know how she fits into his life. When I explained she was his daddy’s grandmother just like I was his grandmother, his eyes lit up. He ran to his dad to talk about things he had done with his grandma.
He found that some were the same things we do together because I learned them from my grandmother. It is an unbroken loving connection through several generations.
This February, celebrate that unending love in your life. Every time you see a decoration, let it be a reminder of the person you love. Take a moment to acknowledge the love not the physical loss of that person. If not today, someday that will bring you joy.
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