Widowhood–Navigating the emotional minefield on Valentine’s Day

After my beloved husband died in 2018, I knew that the days ahead, navigating through this new life I never wanted, would be challenging.

Inevitably I encountered emotional landmines, especially during the holidays, riding a roller coaster of triggered anxiety and depression. Even something simple as grocery shopping and spotting a carton of orange sherbet—his favourite dessert—swallowed me whole with a fresh wave of grief.

Now that the bright lights of Christmas and New Year’s are behind us, a new landmine blasts at every turn complete with hearts, flowers, chocolates and advertisements for dinner for two–and when you’re suffering heartache as a widow or widower on Valentine’s Day, they seem to pop up everywhere.

My husband and I didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day with a lot of fanfare, as he was a “here’s-a-gift-for-no-reason” type of guy, however, we did mark the day in our own way.

He’d kick off the morning by serving me tea and toast, using peanut butter to draw a heart on the toast, and I would give him a bowl of Smarties (he loved his sweets).

I’d give him a card—the kind we used to give as kids at school–of course, there wasn’t anything childlike in the naughty note I’d written inside the card (well, I am a romance author after all).

He’d give me a card—the traditional “for all occasions card.”

Twenty-years ago, my husband gave me a card for my birthday–the card looked oddly familiar, and then when I opened the card I knew why it looked familiar. He had given me that card on our anniversary with a sticky note inside with his endearment—here it was again for my birthday, with a different note inside.

It was a running joke that I treasured all these years, as he said it saved him from never forgetting a card for any occasion, he’d just recycle the card and just change the sticky note to suit the occasion.

As I said earlier, he loved giving gifts for no reason, and about six months after he died, I finally went through a few of his things in his man cave area, and discovered a binder filled with vintage Beatles cards.

I figured out that he had been collecting them to surprise me with them at some point, but with chemotherapy and in his weakened state, he hadn’t spend much downtime in his man cave, and I am guessing he forgot about that binder with all that was going on.

It was a bittersweet moment, and I remember having to spend a day in bed after finding the cards—the heart ache was so intense. I then shook myself out of my despair and with tears in my eyes, felt joy for his thoughtfulness. I forced myself to go to MICHAEL’s and purchased a frame. Some of the cards hang in my office where I can enjoy them.

This Valentine’s Day I will make toast and use peanut butter to draw a heart on it; I will hold the for-every-occasion-card close to my heart; I will look out into the garden and take in the tall oak tree, and remember the day twenty-eight-years ago when we planted the acorn together on the first day we moved into our home.

I will open the treasure trove of memories my husband left me from the beautiful life he lovingly gifted me every single day of our marriage, remember his deep love, his smile, his wit, his great sense of humour, and how passionate he was about our family, and although it will be another heart-wrenching reminder of all that I’ve lost, I will force myself to smile through the tears and continue to be grateful for the everlasting love we share.

As I do every night, I will close my eyes, remember his soft kisses and say, “I’ll see you on the other side of the stars, my love.”

WINNERS ANNOUNCED – Authors significant others tell what it’s like to be in love with an author.

Thank you all for participating in the February give-away, on behalf of all the authors, we are appreciative of your ongoing support, and look forward to another giveaway in the future.

WINNERS PLEASE NOTE:

Please leave your email addresses in the comments below, OR email me directly at selenarobinswriter@gmail.com

Here are the list of winners:

Everyone who commented will receive a copy of Alexandra Isobel’s Romantic Heart Beats.

Gift certificate winners:

sylve t

Felinewyvern

Laura

Jane Yendle-Davies

Nina

Stephanie Hannaford

Donna_A

malex239

Lorraine Hatt

Rebecca

Julie

Pat Egan Fordyce

Allyson

You will all be contacted, via email by an author for delivery of your prize.

ENJOY!

 

 

Continue reading WINNERS ANNOUNCED – Authors significant others tell what it’s like to be in love with an author.

Pucker up, baby

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Kiss. Smooch. Peck. Smmmmmmmack. Necking. First Base. Making Out. Tongue Tango—-whatever you want to call the delicious union of two sets of lips, meeting to pack a powerful, intimate union between two people, kissing will never go out of style.

Butterfly kisses. Chocolate kisses. Eyelash kisses. Nibbling—-so many and so much fun to give and receive. Whatever your pleasure, it’s all good….real good.

 

GONE WITH THE WIND, Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, 1939.

 

A few facts about kissing:

There are over 100 nerve endings in your lips that stimulate passion, and that melt all over feeling.

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Why is the letter “X” used to symbolize a kiss? Historically, people who could not write their name, made an “X”on documents. To pledge their honor, they painted their lips and kissed the document next to the “X”.

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Kissing unleashes endorphins, makes your heart beat faster, allowing more oxygen to reach your brain, putting you in a state of euphoria.

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Kissing lowers the levels of cortisol (stress hormone), making you feel relaxed, secure and an overall feeling of well being.

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Some of my favorite quotes on kissing:

“Kissing is a means of getting two people so close together that they can’t see anything wrong with each other.” ~Rene Yasenek

“Always remember this: ‘A kiss will never miss, and after many kisses a miss becomes a misses’.” ~John Lennon

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“A kiss is a secret which takes the lips for the ear.” ~Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac

“Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you, tomorrow I’ll miss you.” ~Paul McCartney

“The best things in life are unseen. That’s why we close our eyes when we kiss, laugh and dream.” ~Unknown

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“Kissing is like drinking salted water: you drink and your thirst increases.” ~Chinese Proverb

“A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.” ~Ingrid Bergman

 

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