I’m sure you’re aware that it’s February. February is a month – the second month of the year to be exact. Some years it has 28 days, other years it has 29, which annoys me. It’s Black History Month, it’s the month in which Ground Hog Day occurs, and, for those of you who are grieving, it’s one more calendar flip separating you from the life you lived with your loved one.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention that Valentine’s Day happens in February. Don’t worry though, I’m not going to force Valentine-type feelings on you. That’s what Hallmark and Zales and “He. Went. To. Jared.” commercials are for. I also know that your heart has recently been broken, and for someone with a broken heart, a holiday all about hearts is a little hard to stomach.
Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays, like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, where you’re supposed to love and appreciate a person who plays a particular role in your life. While this is wonderful for people who have loved ones to celebrate, it feels a wee bit antagonizing for people who don’t. Even if you didn’t care much for the holiday before your loved one’s death, all of a sudden it’s everywhere – reminding you of the unifiable, person sized hole in your heart.
Now, I don’t for a second want to deny any grieving person their right to celebrate Valentine’s Day. In fact, in the past we’ve suggested that grieving people embrace the day by reframing how they think about Valentine’s Day and by focusing on giving and receiving all sorts of love to and from all sorts of people (and/or animals). What I really want to do here is validate and honor the wide range of emotions that you may feel in response to Valentine’s Day, from love to hate and anywhere in-between.
February Photo Challenge
This post is also to announce the theme for February’s Photo Challenge. To recap, anyone is welcome to submit to photo challenges. Submissions for each monthly collaboration will be displayed in their own gallery where people can view, share, and comment on individual posts. You can submit up until the final week of the month, at which time submissions will close and we will select our favorite five or so images to feature in an article that will be posted on PhotoGrief and shared on PhotoGrief and What’s Your Grief social media.
So here’s the theme:
Valentine’s Day, you make me feel __________________.
Finish the sentence with a photo and a brief reflection. (You can submit here – this link is also at the bottom of this page). You may interpret this theme any way you want, focusing on any emotion you want.
Or maybe it fills you with a sense of longing.
Or maybe it makes you feel grouchy.
Perhaps it makes you feel grateful for the love you have in your life.
Or maybe it reminds you to appreciate things like growth, warmth, and beauty.
Whatever Valentine’s Day makes you feel, snap a photograph, and share it.