With the changing seasons, many of us feel a sense of renewal. Fresh blooms and bright sunshine resemble the new hope we feel within ourselves. For those within the depths of grief; however, the seasons cease to surface these feelings of hope and happiness. Grief has no timetable, grief doesn’t accommodate our schedules, nor does grief take a holiday. When grief strikes, the summer time empties of sunlight, the winter holidays become additional weight to carry around, and springtime becomes a reminder of life lost instead of life anew.
Seasonal changes can be likened unto the cycle of grief, but not in a literal sense. Summers are filled with bright sunshine, long hours, and endless carefree days. Summer is the like the time before the death occurred. There is a feeling of invincibility–that the world as you see it cannot be shaken. It’s not a common occurrence to think about the death of those around you, because it seems like the event is far distant.
Then Autumn comes. The greens fade to yellow and the daylight begins to drain. Slowly the trees shed their leaves and the bare branches reach towards a cloudy sky that the sun can’t seem to break through. The chill sets in, and before you know it winter is here. Fall and Winter are like the depths of grief. There will be days when you don’t see the sun, or days when grief overwhelms you. Winter seems to drag on, and you begin to feel like Spring is never going to warm the frozen ground, but it does.
Spring always comes. Eventually, everything frozen dethaws, the snow melts away, and new life begins to grow. Spring is like the healing process of our grief. Our grief had eclipsed feelings of hope and healing, but time passes and our grief dims into a manageable burden. We can begin to truly heal. We will never forget, but time helps ease the intensity of our grief.
The seasons of grief are not marked by the literal seasons. For those experiencing grief, they know grief is oblivious to time or convenience. However, the seasons act as a metaphor for how our grief evolves and changes over time. When you’re in the frozen winter of grief, know that Spring will always come.