It’s the season of love, chocolates and roses. Walk in any store this time of year, and you are bombarded by lots of reds and pinks – delicious chocolate candies, bouquets of beautiful flowers and all sorts of stuffed animals imaginable.

But Valentine’s Day is not always that cheery and rosy holiday, especially for those who may have recently lost close loved ones. In fact, it’s often the most depressing time of the year for those who are widowed or living alone.

My father passed away on Valentine’s Day 11 years ago, and I have a close friend whose father also passed away on Valentine’s Day one year before mine did. And ever since suffering that loss on what to most people is a very special day, I view Valentine’s Day through a somewhat different lens.

Now on Valentine’s Day, my thoughts often are of those who may no longer have their beloved cupid here to surprise them with blossoms of love.

I read where a study shows a small bouquet of flowers can make a big difference, especially in seniors’ lives, so here’s a challenge for all us … remember someone who may be missing a loved one this Valentine’s Day.

You never know when a simple box of candy or bouquet of flowers might snap them right out of their depression and be just what they need to help them begin interacting with people around them.

And this Valentine’s Day, if you can’t visit grandma or grandpa in person, this is the day to let them know you’re thinking of them by sending thoughtful gifts. Tulips, buttercups, roses, lilies, carnations, daffodils, orchids -- no matter which kind you select -- flowers are sure to make someone special in your life smile.

And this can be done any time of the year, not just on Valentine’s Day.

Other thoughtful Valentine’s Day gifts -- always positive spirit boosters – include personalized cards with family photos, music CDs, gift certificates to a favorite restaurant or tickets to a special play or movie…and when you can accompany them, that will make the gift even more special.

Over the weekend, my son and his wife came home for a brief visit, and while here they went to see his grandma. They spent Sunday afternoon sharing memorable moments while looking at old photos together and reminiscing about “where the years have gone.”

Grandparents like nothing more than spending time with family sharing their life stories. Those precious hours spent together are worth more to many seniors than any material gift.

So to make this Valentine’s Day one to be remembered, spend time with your special someones warming their hearts and helping them know they are loved.

Paula I. Bryant is the editor of The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at​

Paula I. Bryant is the editor of The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at