For a Widow, Valentine’s Day Evolves

By Katy Hutchison —

Over the years, my experience around Valentine’s Day has softened and shifted focus.

The first year after my husband’s death I wanted to crawl in a hole the minute I saw that first red and pink heart-shaped display in the grocery store. On February 14th I didn’t answer my phone and avoided the efforts of well meaning friends and family to “get me through” the day. I had every reason to wallow in sadness; and I took the opportunity to feel the pain of my loss head-on.

The next year, I managed to create a space for myself to privately remember the love I had shared with my husband and the wonderful legacies he left behind in our two beautiful children. I poured myself into making the day special for them and protected my own aching heart in the process.

In the years that followed, my focus has shifted outwards. I now choose to spend Valentine’s Day reflecting on love in a broader sense. The more I share my own story of love, loss and forgiveness; the more I realize how important it is to open our hearts up and share our love. It is our daring hearts that will teach others to see past discrimination, stand up for injustice and poverty and create and sustain peaceful communities.

Valentine’s Day is less about cards, flowers and chocolates and more about reaching out with an open heart to those around us – and that is something we can all do 365 days a year.

Katy Hutchison is author of Walking After Midnight. She can be reached at

Katy Hutchison

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Katy Hutchinson, the mother of fifteen-year old twins, Emma and Sam, resides with her family in Victoria, BC. She moved to Vancouver Island ten years ago, following the horrific murder of her husband Bob McIntosh. In the course of dealing with the legal issues surrounding Bob’s death, she met and married lawyer Michael Hutchison. After Bob’s murder on New Year’s Eve 1997 Katy waited for five years while the RCMP worked tirelessly to obtain the evidence to prosecute and convict his killers. During that period, Katy developed her perception of the societal forces and lack of understanding amongst young people that created the circumstances leading to Bob’s death. She grew to recognize the need to advise and educate young members of the community about the risks that arise with the combination of young people, alcohol, and a lack of supervision. Watch a mini-documentary about Katy’s story. This piece was put together for BlondeTV by Melanie Morgan and Caitlin Mackenzie. Listen to a podcast interview with Katy by BigSnit’s Robert Ouimet. Katy currently divides her time between working with her husband Michael in his law practice and her growing professional speaking career. Her book entitled Walking After Midnight: One Woman’s Journey Through Murder, Justice and Forgiveness is published in Canada by Raincoast Books and in the US by New Harbinger Publications. Katy was a guest on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” talking about “There is No Rule Book: Finding Foregiveness After the Murder of My Husband.” To hear Katy being interviewed on this show by Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley, click on the following link:


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  • Ginny says:


    Your story is inspirational and very familiar. I look forward to the part where I can channel my sadness outward instead of inward. I worry…I seem to be in the same place for six years now. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.