Valentine’s Day and lost loved ones

. February 2, 2015.
book

by Monica Lobo

Valentine’s Day—A day that proudly encourages you to fall in love, and seems to play love songs on repeat.   Although it’s a holiday that boasts love, it may not be as enthusiastically received by those who have loved and lost.

Jasmine D’Cruz, an Intensive Care Unit and Neurology Nurse and mother of two, fell in love with her best friend while studying in Bombay (Mumbai), India in 1976. “He was kind, dependable and loyal. He wasn’t playing games like the other young men,”  she reminisced with a smile.  Jasmine devastatingly lost her husband to colon cancer after a four-year battle in 2001.  “I mourned for over a year. I would go to his gravesite every day after work and just sit there and cry,” Jasmine explained. 

This Valentine season, she will be coping with the grief just as she would any other day of the year—surrounding herself with family and friends, and attending church and gatherings.  She’s also addicted to Indian soap operas, which she intends to watch with her daughter. “Hope, that’s what’s kept me going,” Jasmine exclaimed with her head held high. 

Carolyn Gose is a retired English teacher who spent much of the summer on her  apartment balcony in Perrysburg getting lost in a book. She lost her husband to pancreatic cancer just one month after his diagnosis. On Tuesdays, Carolyn gets together with local widows for shopping and dinner dates. When asked about Valentine’s Day, she answered: “I’m a ‘snowbird.’  I go to Florida during the winter to keep my spirits alive. You just have to find your own way of coping with grief—go out there and just do it.”

Pat Nowak lost her husband suddenly at age 47 in 1995, when he was struck by a motorist while crossing the street. Now, she is the Executive Director of the Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce and author of The ABC’s of Widowhood: A Guide to Life After a Death (available online on Amazon). For Valentine’s Day, Ms. Nowak suggests making sure you’re busy and doing something unique, fun and different: “Do not wallow in self-pity. You need to make yourself accessible to new things. ”  

In addition to support from family and friends, networking, traveling,  and trying new things, there are many support groups and self-help resources available in the community: Grief support groups at local hospice centers and hospitals, singles’ and widows’ travel groups. “There is no longer a stigma behind grieving a lost loved one,” Pat explained. 

Find local grief support resources at hospicenwo.org, nwoheals.org or harbor.org/grief. Get more info on Pat Nowak’s book, The ABCs of Widowhood, at abcsofwidowhood.com.

Trending

Parklike Perrysburg Retreat: Spacious With Classic Charm

Home feature of the month! Learn how you can feature your home and call 4199-244-9859.

Big City Taste: Manhattan’s Revitalizes Uptown Adams Street

Manhattan’s Pub and Cheer on Adams Street in Uptown opened in December, 2002 and recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. Toledo native, Zach Lahey, the restaurant’s owner and general manager explains, “For almost ten years, it was a major struggle to keep the doors open, to really find our place in the micro-neighborhood (Uptown) that we’re in.”

Dear Mayo Clinic: Controlling Symptoms of GERD

DEAR MAYO CLINIC,
I’m 62 years old and am having difficulty keeping healthy weight on due to GERD and reflux. I am really confused about what foods and beverages I should avoid, and what foods will not make my reflux act up. What do you recommend mature adults who have this condition avoid, and what healthy food are best for my situation?

Legends of the Lake: Discovering Lake Erie’s Nautical History

A new Lake Erie shipwreck discovery in July, 2015, by the Cleveland Underwater Explorers (CLUE) spurred Toledo’s National Museum of the Great Lakes to raise funding to excavate and investigate the unique find. The discovery attracted national news headlines because, let’s face it, a shipwreck is intriguing.