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  • Writer's pictureEllen Krohne

Holidays of the Heart

Valentine’s Day that we just celebrated is one of many holidays that pull at our hearts. Special days that remind us of those we love. For those that have lost a loved one the first of these special days without their love is often very hard. They feel not just alone, but may have a sense of being forgotten, abandoned.

Often, we don’t quite know what to say or do for someone who is grieving a loss around these “heart holidays.” I did some research on grief sites, including Heartlinks Grief Center’s resource page, and found the following suggestions of ways to show you care. Most importantly, express something that reflects your awareness of their loss, such as:

“I know this is a difficult day for you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.”

Connection in person or on the phone is appreciated. Here are some other ways to show you care that could be helpful:

  • Share lunch or dinner at your home or out

  • Bring them a meal or special sweet treat

  • Invite them to do something with you, like a shopping trip or movie

  • Give a small gift, such as flowers, a card, or a book

  • Do a chore for or with them – such as helping them garden, doing laundry, getting groceries, whatever you think may be helpful to them

  • Donate to a charity in their name

One of the best gifts about moving back to my hometown, Okawville, has been making new friends. I’ve met or reconnected with people – at church, bible study, book club, and at the many events the community holds. New friends are such a blessing in retirement!

Several of these friends lost their spouses this year. My heart has gone out to them as they’ve worked through their grief with the help of family and friends. One shared recently that she would not have made it without the kindness of friends, who went out of their way to include her as before she lost her spouse, instead of excluding her. When they get together for dinner or to take a short trip, they invite her. This has meant the world to her, and she will always cherish those friends that were there for her, demonstrating their caring spirit.

Another blessing in our area of the world is Heartlinks Grief Center in Belleville, IL. Heartlinks provides grief support to all ages, with both individual and group counseling. And last year Heartlinks started the Washington County Grief Support Group. It meets on the third Monday of each month at Washington County Hospital at 6:30 p.m. I let my friends know about Heartlinks and when they are ready make sure they have the information to call and get help when they need it.

There are lots of ways to use our caring spirit to help those grieving through these holidays of the heart, helping them feel remembered and included. Thank you for caring and taking those actions to help!

Heartlinks Grief Center provides grief support to all ages, regardless of ability to pay. If you are grieving or know someone who could use assistance on their grief journey, please contact Heartlinks Grief Center at 618-277-1800 or email

Profits from the sale of We Lost Her and Heartbroken are donated to help support Heartlinks Grief Center.

Be blessed,


Ellen Krohne

We Lost Her, available at this link on

Heartbroken, available at this link on

Heartlinks Grief Center volunteer and Family Hospice board member

“We Grow Stronger Together”

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