Valentine’s Day – Sadness, Taking Action, Counting Blessings

by Sheila Finkelstein on February 14, 2010

Today is Valentine’s Day and all around it seems people are acknowledging the “heart” day… Subject lines in emails, Twitter posts, probably on Facebook also.

My friend Marifran Korb has written some wonderful posts on Celebrating Valentine’s Day, including most importantly celebrating ourselves.  She wrote: “Make a commitment to fall in love over and over again with YOURSELF. Love is a commitment, not a feeling.” Valentine’s Day, Part 3, with lots of great ideas.  AND, I wanted NO part of any of it!

Sam and I never much celebrated Valentine’s Day as a holiday.  I’d like to think we celebrated our love daily. Despite this, on the subconscious level, I think, sadness had been setting in as I was reading tags and posts.

I’m here now at my computer with sporadic tears welling in my eyes, some  passing down over my cheeks.   It’s more than two years since my beloved Sam has left this Earth and, though my life is full, sometimes it seems even lonelier than it was  in the days and year after he died. (Why is it so hard to say that word – “die?”)

So how do we handle the tears, the sadness.  “Write,” I say. And, unintentionally I did.  A young mother in the Conscious Business Owners coaching group of which I am a part, was querying her wanting to be with her young sons, concerned that her business would pull her away from that which was most important to her.

One of the other group members wrote: “For me personally, I think my resentment of not having outside contact would have been somehow translated into our relationships in a negative way. So find a balance that will work for you but remember there is another child who has needs–you.”

That sparked me to write my own response (see end of this post) and though the tears started welling up even more, I found I was in action… My number one RX for healing… or easing the moments.

1.  After I wrote the email, I decided it would make a good blog post and possibly turn into a podcast for the Become a Blogging Maniac course in which I am a participant.

2.  Reflecting on one of the things missing in the moment, I saw “family closeness”, so I called my son who lives 1/2 hour from me. Upon hearing my sadness he invited me to visit and my “daughter-in-love”, immediately got on the phone and compassionately said, “Come to dinner.” (Thank you twitter friend Mary Morris, marylmorris, for introducing me to the concept/phraseology of “daughters-in-love.” I have two.)

As I take each of these steps and more, I am grateful for the past and present blessings in my life.

If you are someone who is grieving the absence of a loved one, I invite you to also be in action with whatever will best occupy and forward you.  Be sure to look for that in your life for which you can be thankful.

And, if you are someone who is blessed to currently have everyone important to you in your life alive and well, I invite you to stop to make note of the memories you can add to your Treasure Chest of life and acknowledge them now.  One of my blessings is that I have so many beautiful messages Sam wrote to me.

Speaking of writing, I’m moved to include a treasured photographic memory, that brings back the warmth and comfort of our relationship.

Writing with feet in Sam's LapSmiling at the memory – See PICTURE TO PONDER – Issue 108 for the story.

From my EMAIL REPLY (see explanation above) that triggered this post:

“For me, M, your response to S was ‘right on’.  I’m reminded of the times I used to say guiltily (those little self-sabotaging demons kicking in) that I wasn’t the “Milk and Cookies” Mom AND my sons turned out great!!! They are wonderful husbands, in marriages that are each loving and stable, and fathers to  4 wonderful, bright, loving children.

When my sons were very young, I was quite involved with numerous volunteer activities and  then went back to college, finishing two years in an art education program.  I would often take my boys to one of the studios when I went up for extra work.  I still have etchings (real ones on metal plates) that they did  when they were 5 and 8.

I recall my younger son complaining, when he wanted to throw some “guilt” at me, about the times he’d have to come home to make
his own lunch so he could run back to school to play kickball. (Doesn’t sound too tragic, does it, given he’s mentioning the “play” part also?)

Whenever guilt would kick in for me over the years, I would remind myself, and continue to do so, how well my/our sons turned out –
a tribute, I say, to the ultimate love and security that was in our home, with two loving parents who were comfortable in their own
skin (usually) with what they were doing for self-fulfillment, as well as familial fulfillment.

S, it certainly sounds like you have your husband behind and with you. THAT is the MOST IMPORTANT thing that your sons will
see.  In addition to all the love they are and will be getting, they will have the experience of two adults being true to themselves.

I am deeply missing my husband, and those years long gone, as I complete writing this.  And, I am grateful for the blessing Sam’s and my life was  together  and for the next-generation two loving families that we seeded.

Treasure these years, S, remembering to treasure yourself and your needs also.”

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Morgine February 14, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Loved your words and my heart opening!! Thanks for the smiles and I too LOVE this photo! One of my favorites too.


Sheila Finkelstein February 15, 2010 at 5:11 am

Thanks, Morgine. I’m always honored when my work moves you.

Thanks, also, for sharing with me, in an offline conversation, that you see a heart shape in the feet 🙂


Shannon Laackmann February 15, 2010 at 1:46 am

As I read your words Sheila, I have tears! I am so moved. I have bookmarked this page for those days when I am feeling overwhelmed and undervalued. 🙂 thank you so much for your support. ((((hugs))))


Sheila Finkelstein February 15, 2010 at 5:09 am

Thanks, Shannon. I appreciate the acknowledgment and knowing that this has made a difference for you.

Continued blessings and joy in your life.


Mary February 15, 2010 at 5:17 am

Your post is lovely and poignant, Sheilia. I cannot imagine life without my sweetie so I send you a warm hug to you on this Valentine Day. I know your sweetheart would want you to feel loved and hugged today. Thank you for such a beautiful post and a reminder that we always must treasure the diamonds in our own back yard. Blessings and joy to you, too, dear Sheila.


Sheila Finkelstein February 16, 2010 at 3:34 am

Thank you, Mary. I appreciate your good wishes and acknowledgment.

It warmed my hear to see you and your beloved hubby together and so close at NAMS.

Thanks and love, Sheila


Rose Diamond February 17, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Hello Sheila
Thank you for sharing your sadness and your loss. There must be many people for whom Valentine’s day is difficult, rather like Christmas when loved ones are missed or we mourn the love we’ve wanted and didn’t have. I love your idea of looking for what’s missing and then taking action – very empowering! And I love the photo too!


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