Well there is just no good card for that. No one has figured out the right way to say, “Hey, I’m sorry the love of your life died and left you alone forever, but here’s a card to say I’m sending the very best. Happy V Day!”

So how do you reach out to the W in your life on this day where we are bombarded by messages of love and romance?  First, not everyone celebrates this day…the hubs and I didn’t, and neither did many of our friends.  But lots of people do, and this first red heart day can be yet another painful reminder of the void in our lives.  Even though we didn’t celebrate it, the constant stream of jewelry-chocolate-wine-dinner-romance commercials and Facebook couple surveys and public “Kissy Face I Love You’s” is enough to push me into the grumpies.

So how can you help your W on this potentially awkward day? That’s easy. Just like it has been from day one, let her know you’re thinking about her.  Be there if you can.  There are no excuses for geography–FaceTime or Tango are almost as good as being there in person, minus the hugs, wine and Oreos. If she wants to talk about Valentine’s past, listen.  If you’re hosting Galentines please invite her.  Don’t take it personally if she says no. And if she wants to be sad, let her.  This is just another stop on the path through grief.

The reason the hubs and I didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day was we chose to celebrate Mom and Dad’s wedding anniversary instead. This day is doubly hard because it reminds us that we’ve lost the two most important men in our lives. Who knew we’d both become widows just months apart.