Losing a loved one is painful at any time of the year, but the spirit of re-awakening that marks Spring’s return may also increase the challenge of dealing with your grief. Here are some tips on how to cope…
Death is like winter; it freezes our world. So when Spring returns with warmth, renewal and rebirth it can conflict with our painful feelings of loss – especially with so many events taking place without the
one you love. Some things you can do to cope with grief when everything around you is re-awakening include:
Remember that you are in control, not grief.
Spring marks the thaw. Things begin to move once more, and it can be helpful to move with them. Foremost in your mind should be the thought that you control your life, not grief. Yes,
the pain is there and it is real. But exploring — and participating — in springtime activities can nurture and warm your spirit and push it back.
Things that you can do on your own or with a small group:
- Plant a garden
- Go on a trip
- Take a nature walk
- Start a new hobby
- Spend time with family and friends
- Learn to meditate
- Study a new language… and so many others
The arrival of Spring brings with it a welcome variety of events that can brighten your days and help lessen your heartache. Gatherings that can lift your spirits include intriguing art exhibitions, colorful flower shows, lively music festivals, captivating craft and food fairs, and perhaps a holiday parade or two. Your local newspaper and television are good sources of information on what’s taking place in your area, as is a search of the Internet (just enter “springtime events in [your city]” into your web browser).
And make every effort to attend two occasions that are important parts of life, especially during the spring: weddings and graduations. Yes, there will be people celebrating at a time when you are feeling low, and it will be bittersweet to think of the person who should be at the happy event with you but is not. Still, remember that you can honor the one you have lost simple low-key ways while participating and not feel guilty.
When you take part in life, it will take part in you and help diminish your sorrow.
Maintain traditions, or start new ones.
Most families have springtime traditions, but it’s important to remember that the passing of a loved one doesn’t have to mean the loss of those traditions as well. In fact, maintaining those traditions can help diminish your pain and strengthen your healing. Having the same routine as you did in the past can be important to you and your family. Yes, there may be sadness because the one you have lost isn’t there. But better still, your springtime traditions can evoke pleasant memories of when you were all together. Laugh at the silly things that person might have done, prepare the same meals, go to the same places and recall how much fun you had, and partake in the comfort that traditions can bring.
And if maintaining the tradition of springtime activities you once shared proves to be too much, start new ones. If camping over spring break was the event your family looked forward to, scale back to a picnic in the country. A party at the beach can be transformed to a quiet gathering at a park. And of course, if you met at home, particularly for a religious celebration, you may want to try moving the location to another site. With a bit of imagination and thought you can build new memories to nurture your spirits and bring happiness back into your life.
Take comfort from nature
Grief can be like the icy grip of winter. It can leave us feeling dormant and numb; like we’re buried beneath a blanket of cold. And yet winter passes. The days become longer. The air grows warmer. The ice begins to melt and greenery starts pushing up through the vanishing snow. So it can be with your grief. By not letting the winter of your sadness control your life, by staying active and keeping the memory of your loved present but not overwhelming eventually that blanket will thaw and like the flowers in your garden you’ll once more be able to move forward and grow.
Take comfort from your religion
For many religious people, the spring season marks a major event in their beliefs and if you are spiritual that event can provide solace and offer you a path back towards living.
Numerous faiths are built upon and share with their followers the messages of hope and faith and comfort. If you are already devout, then you know the power of those messages and the direction they can provide. And if you aren’t particularly close to religion, Spring can be the perfect time to explore the many choices available and discover the guidance you would find beneficial at this time in your life.
Springtime is re-birth. Make it your time to re-embrace life and start healing from your loss at whatever pace you find comfortable.