A Crafter's Life, From the Archives

Valentines (re-post)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I thought in honor of this day, and how far my life has come in a couple of years, I would re-post this Valentine’s Day post from February 14, 2019. This post was also featured, at the end of February 2019, on author Marie Bostwick’s blog: Coping With Grief by Helping Others.

I am in my 8th year of blogging and I have a large catalogue of archived posts and going forward I am going to occasionally share from the archives.


Valentines

A little less than a week ago I began having quite a bit of anxiety over how I was going to face my first Valentine’s Day without my Valentine. In December 2018 my husband Terry suddenly passed away. I’ve been with Terry more than 1/2 my life and we’ve never been apart on Valentine’s Day.

I was anticipating a painful day on February 14th, completely stricken my grief, perhaps not even able to get out of bed.

In the middle of my anticipatory grieving anxiety, I suddenly realized that doing something for others might be the solution to dealing with Valentine’s Day.

For the past 5 weeks I’ve been in a difficult but awesome Spousal Loss Grief Support Group that meets weekly. It suddenly hit me that all the widows and widowers in the grief support group with me were facing the same dilemma of their first Valentine’s Day without their Valentines.

So why don’t I invite them all the be my Valentines?

And that is just what I did.

For My Valentines

For the men in my grief support group:

Terry’s favorite cookies were the Molasses Crinkle Cookies that I loved to make. I’ve done little cooking and no baking since he passed so it was a pretty big thing to open my cookbook and actually bake something.

I made a huge batch of these cookies and it felt good to bake again, so good that I actually experienced a sweet moment of joy as I assembled the ingredients.

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I put the cookies in a basket and included little sandwich bags for them to take as many as they wanted home.

For the women in my grief support group:

I gave them each little wallets. If you are new to my blog here is a post about the little wallets I made a zillion of since I first became obsessed with them – “Little Wallet Madness” . If you are not new to my blog then you know all about little wallets and some of you own some of my little wallets you won in my blog anniversary drawings!

For the group facilitator:

I gave her a set of my little heart pillows, as she has been helping us heal our hearts.

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I then made “Oregon Healing Hearts” valentines using my circle punch and heart punch from my card marking supplies with Oregon/outdoor themed colored papers:

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People had the option of an “Oregon Healing Heart” with a dog in the middle of the heart (as I consider dogs healing) or a plain heart:

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Here is the whole set up I surprised them with earlier this week at our weekly Spousal Loss Grief Support Group:

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I think it went over pretty well. The facilitator let me present them at the start of our support group meeting.

The men were willing to share their cookies and both the men and women got to take home some cookies if they wanted. There was laughter, smiles and hugs despite the difficult topics we discussed at that support group session.

Feeling at Peace

Today is Valentine’s Day and I feel at peace. I think it is because I stepped outside of myself and my grief and thought of others for a moment.

Day and night wallowing in my grief was not working for me, even if everyone expected and supported it. I had to try something else. That’s where my grief group came in, my unexpected valentines.

Grieving is hard work, maybe the hardest work I’ve ever done. It’s definitely a hobby I don’t recommend for anybody.  But, if you’re suddenly find yourself a member of the club that no one ever wants to join, find a grief group. Part of what I have learned from this experience is, don’t try to go it alone.

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson


Feature Photo by Nicola Fioravanti on Unsplash

33 thoughts on “Valentines (re-post)”

  1. The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
    ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
    I love this quote. I am glad you are back blogging. You have a very special gift and I am happy you share it. Betty G

    Like

  2. I love this post, Tierney. You have such a generous soul. Isn’t it wonderful that helping others, going beyond ourselves, can give us some comfort too ~ and maybe even a little bit of joy in a very difficult time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Tierney, I like this post. You were very wise to realize that service is a great way to replace sadness. It’s really hard to make the leap from one to the other though and you made it work. I bet you cheered up a lot of people that day. (Also loved our wallets. so cute.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You hit on something really important. We heal when we give to others. The reason: We stop focusing on ourselves and serve others. The service is what opens us back up again and allows love back in. As love returns we have more to give. “To get love, you have to give it” – Paul Twitchell

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful post, Tierney. I am glad you shared it with us again. What is so wonderful is how you recognized when something wasn’t working, and used it as an opportunity for movement in a different direction. Love to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tierney, am glad to know that your difficult day was made easier with your giving heart. Your generous nature shines through, even on difficult days. Take good care of you and your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is such a beautiful memory, Tierney. You have such a big heart (!), and I’m sure that your kind and healing actions will always be remembered by the people in the group. Thank you for sharing this reflection. I hope you had a beautiful Valentine’s day last week. 💗

    Liked by 1 person

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