Frosty wind made moan
Earth stood hard as iron
Water like a stone
– Christina Rosetti
For centuries, poets and writers have accurately found communion with winter during personal times of grief and sorrow, and it’s easy to see why. It can feel as though there is poetic symbolism in grieving during winter – the sadness you feel seems reflected in the earthly world around you. The days shorten and the nights lengthen, the leaves fall from the trees and growth goes dormant, we spend time indoors
There is no doubt, grief can feel like a long and bleak winter.
So what do you do when spring starts to break and the season of darkness transforms to leave you behind and lonely with your grief? What do you do with your heartbreak as the flowers grow again and the rest of the world feels the joy of spring’s promises? How do you cope when the cheerful and bright weather can feel like nature’s cruel mockery?
While your grief will absolutely forever change you, it is ok to embrace the process of healing on your own timeline. While some people may not understand your experience in grief, there are some things you can do to care for your physical and emotional well being during this season.
Care for yourself
Caring for yourself after loss can be difficult to do, but it is one of the best ways to give yourself the tools you need to process. It is very common to feel alone in the wake of loss, and purposefully seeking out someone who understands can be immensely helpful.
The help of a professional grief therapist can be beneficial. Each grief experience is unique, and talking through the nuances of your loss in a safe space can bring much healing. Many people often find that support groups (whether online or in person) to be a hugely helpful tool. They are almost always free and accessible.
Other ideas to care for your physical well being includes gentle exercise. Many people in grief find that the focus of mindfulness that comes with yoga.
Embrace Small Things that Bring You Joy
Oftentimes, we think it is large sweeping changes that will help us cope with loss. But oftentimes, we begin the journey back to ourselves in the small moments. It can be helpful to create a list of small things that bring you joy and commit to doing one of them each day.
There are some activities that you can do in the spring that can be very helpful for your healing. Grow a memorial garden in memory of your loved one. Buy flowers in their honor and put them on your dining room table. Take a walk around your block and leave your phone at home. Sit outside and bird watch, looking for a special species that reminds you of your loved one. Spend time in nature. Journal outdoors with a warm cup of coffee. Be gentle with yourself and give yourself time and care to heal.
Find New Ways to Engage in the World
Sometimes making new memories can also help you find a place for your grief as the seasons change. Music can be immensely therapeutic and there are many bloggers who have put together amazing playlists designed to help express feelings and deal withof grief and loss. You can also spend time finding new musicians and listening to old favorites. Other people choose to learn a new skill, whether that is a new sport, learning how to make new crafts, cooking a new recipe, or perfecting an old favorite baked good.
You may feel like there is nothing fresh and living in you, and in those moments, I want to gently send you a message of hope – you are worth the journey, you are a treasure, and you are valued. With time, you have life waiting to blossom.
Spring will come.