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Hospice offers support for those grieving death of spouse

Valentine's Day can be especially hard for a person who misses their loved one, says Hospice Georgian Triangle grief counsellor
Grief and bereavement counsellor Taylor McIntosh

In the midst of a cold winter, Valentine’s Day can be a delightful romantic interlude for romantic couples and families.

For those grieving the loss of a loved one, however, Valentine’s Day and other special occasions can trigger much sadness.

How do grieving persons navigate these bittersweet occasions?

“Allowing yourself to be sad, tearful, upset and angry is okay,” says grief and bereavement counsellor Taylor McIntosh. “It is part of the grieving process and ultimately the intensity and frequency of these emotions will lessen with time and will help you feel better.”

At Hospice Georgian Triangle, located in Collingwood, Ontario, McIntosh leads a group of professional counsellors and volunteer advisors providing grief and bereavement counselling. In January alone there were 150 persons young and old in group and individual sessions.

“For Valentine’s Day, do something that makes you feel connected to your spouse to honour and include them in the day, " says Taylor. “Tap into your senses. For example, play music you and your spouse enjoyed. By intentionally doing things you will feel connected to your spouse.”

Taylor has five tips to help grieving persons navigate these special but rocky special occasions: 

1. Go somewhere the two of you shared good memories. It could be a drive up the Escarpment or a walk at Sunset Point.
2. Put out a favourite photo of your spouse and light a candle.
3. Write your spouse a Valentine’s Day card. Or, simply a note or a letter.
4. Cook your favourite meal. Or, order in food that the two of you enjoyed together.
5. Find something that reminds you of your spouse and take some time to lean into that to feel connected. For example, listen to a particular song, wear their shirt, or smell their cologne or perfume.

For more on Hospice Georgian Triangle’s programs, Hospice Georgian Triangle or call 705-444-2555.