By Suzy Yehl Marta, Founder of Rainbows For All Children

Valentine’s Day is synonymous with love, romance, roses and more. Often called a Hallmark holiday, Valentine’s Day can be a difficult time when grieving a loss or life altering change.

On my first Valentine’s Day after my divorce, I was innocently walking through Hallmark I found myself angry that this holiday even existed. I hurriedly spent more than $50 on Valentine’s cards for my children, parents and close friends. I thought, “Who needs a spouse anyway?! I have many others in my life I could share my sentiments and pamper.”

Equally as painful as Valentine’s Day is Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Both special days to honor your parents, it’s a chance to reflect on the roles they played in our lives. Even years later, it can still bring tears to my eyes with the memories of my Mom.

I guess I always thought of Valentine’s Day as the day between those in relationships and this day then became a bitter-sweet reminder that it was about those people in our lives who we love and love us back. And Moms are certainly the ones that truly love us unconditionally.

So it seems grief rises to the occasion of love on Valentine’s Day while reminding us that we experienced deeply the gift of love. Love is intricately tied to loss, as one will never have one without the other.

And without doubt, for me, the pure joy of love certainly outweighs the pain of loss.

About the author: Suzy Yehl Marta is the founder and President of Rainbows For All Children (,an international nonprofit organization that helps kids going through life’s storms, such as a death of a parent or divorce. Founded 27+ years ago, Rainbows is now in 17 countries and all 50 states. Suzy is the author of “Healing the Hurt, Restoring the Hope,” and has conducted 100+ media interviews on the topic of grief and support.

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