When I was thrust into grief two and a half years ago, I learned quickly that holidays had become my enemies. They would creep up on me like a ravenous bear and then ruthlessly attack my heart in the area of my loss. I can remember our first Christmas without Ruby; I thought I might die.
After months of introspective chaos, I realized that I was not the only one running for cover at the sight of a holiday. As a matter of fact, I found that there were more people grieving on holidays than celebrating. To this day, I wonder why this is not talked about more.
Holidays have a weird way of highlighting our losses, uncovering our pain, and then making us feel like our vulnerability is on display for the world to see.
Today is Valentine's Day. I am aware that there are many people with hurting hearts who are faced with the hard task of navigating this holiday. I am not trying to create pessimism around this day, but I do want to say something:
If this day is hard for you, you are on my heart and I want to speak to you. If it's not, don't read on. Go eat your chocolate and enjoy your day.
To those with more hurts than hearts on Valentine's Day, I wrote you this piece:
In your longing you are beautiful.
In your waiting you are strong.
In your remembering there is beauty.
In your dreaming there is light.
In your mistakes there is redemption.
In your losses there is gain.
In your wanderings there is precision.
In your trusting there is preservation.
In your courage there are miracles.
In your hope there is freedom.
In your heart - there is value.
In your journey - there is endless grace.
You are an amazing lover. Do you know that? Seriously. Ask the people closest to you. You do it well. You deserve to be celebrated today. I celebrate you.
Happy Valentine's Day. I wish I could re-package this holiday and deliver it to you with a pretty bow. But I have no bow to tie this up, just an honest expression to validate that some people hurt where others celebrate, and both deserve to be honored. To the latter, redemption rain is yours. It will come.
You are seen.
And honored today -
by the One who IS LOVE.
Katie Luse is a speaker and writer who is passionate about navigating life with eyes on a hunt for beauty.