Hospice: Valentine’s Day and the Bereaved

There’s a holiday coming up that while more of a social/culture type of event, is one that may be challenging for many bereaved: Valentine’s Day.

You may be of the mindset that this is a holiday that’s hyped up by card companies and such, and that we should express our love for those we care about every day, not only on Valentine’s Day.  I agree with you.  However, for those that have lost a partner it could be a day of great sorrow.  With so much pink & red, hearts and cupids floating about, it may be difficult for some to not be overtaken by the loneliness they might feel come on.

Perhaps your hospice agency is doing something to help individuals who’ve lost a partner.  Or maybe you’re looking for ideas.  Have you considered having a little social gathering?  You could start with inviting those that lost a partner this year to a luncheon event.

Some ideas to consider:

Where shall we have it?
You could host it at a local buffet restaurant, your agency or another location.

What shall we eat?
If you decide not to host it at a restaurant, ask attendees to contribute to a Valentine’s Day potluck. It could be store bought, or homemade. Some might enjoy having someone to cook for.

How should we invite people?
Postcard invitations are an inexpensive way to get the message out. They are less postage & you can print the invite on one side with details on the back. Most office supply stores & “big box” chains sell boxes of post card do-it-yourself cards.

Include your Volunteers
See if there are any volunteers who might be able to help join you for the event. Ask them to bring along some food or decorations.  Volunteers might also be able to help with making some calls prior to the gathering to personally invite folks to join you.

What can we decorate with?
Construction paper is an inexpensive option for some decorations. There are templates online for hearts, cupids and the like. You know your bereaved better than anyone.  Judge how much of the pink, red, heart & cupid stuff you might need.  Enlist some volunteers to help with cutting or gathering supplies.

Most importantly, have fun. Remember, the idea is to help people who might be feeling lonely spend the day with others. Have some decks of cards, play some music… Consider what’s worked for gatherings you’ve hosted in the past to help get people to mingle.

Do you have other ideas to help bereaved through what may be a difficult day for them?  Share your thoughts!