HAVEN OF HEARTS
Beyond the commercialism of life, Valentine’s Day assumes special significance on grounds harboring the dead. Owners of hearts torn apart by the force of loss may go there to help them heal. They visit gravesites and sometimes lovingly tend them, possibly adding elements of creatively designed, tangible indications of their devotion to the companion who died. Some folks may commune with the spirit of the decedent as a way to grasp a sense of continued connection.
Valentine’s Day can exacerbate sorrow on this occasion designated for proclaiming endearment. Yet it presents an opportunity for grieving individuals to confront the imposed detachment that has triggered their heartache. This day that is so universally marked by declarations and symbols of love need not exclude people who are suffering from the absence of their loved ones. Rather, it can motivate facilities and facilitators to offer a form of bereavement support and a chance for mourners to articulate their feelings in a manner befitting the holiday theme.
In spite of icicles dangling from the roof, the gathering room for such an affair at White Haven Memorial Park exudes warmth… the kind generated by an aggregate of warriors appreciative of camaraderie in a pleasant setting.
A streaming slideshow establishes a tone of tranquility. The wonder of nature is recognized through photos of magnificent Alaskan landscapes, wild animals, human babies, and pets – perhaps alluding to the natural evolution of life and its cycles among all of creation. Meanwhile, recordings of serene musical selections accentuate an aura of calm.
A heart stands ready to receive handmade cards bearing personalized sentiments toward individuals who are missed by those who create them.
Rather than using supplied materials, people are invited to bring their own cards crafted beforehand in any manner they choose. One man made two, using the top and bottom of a heart-shaped chocolate candy box as the underlying structure for embellishment with extra elements.
The event is garnished by an offering of sweet treats, implying nurturance of both body and
When thoughts turn to the annually designated time to profess affection for one another,
this type of affair most likely doesn’t come to mind. Perhaps, though, through this
unaccustomed dimension, particularly meaningful moments and memories prompt
unforeseen satisfaction and comfort.
Here, amid the mausoleums and the graves, Valentine’s Day is an occasion to bolster relationships, but from a different perspective. It is a time to honor remembrance and celebrate cherished lives that live on in the hearts and minds of spiritually enduring companions.