Spring is in the air! The snow is melting, the trees are getting new buds, and the sun finally has some warmth. A reason for joy! That is a reason for joy for most of us. Our grievers might experience it differently.

Spring is a time for yard work, bringing families together to do “chores” and have outside get togethers. Very often, spring makes the grief more present. The yard work is usually done as “couple” work.

 I remember a story from a woman in one of the groups. She said that she used to love doing the yard work. She and her husband would do the yard work together. She remembered the laughter, the hard work, and the planning. Now though, she said it is meaningless. There is no one to share these tasks with, so now they are just burdensome chores.

Another story told to me, the barbeques outside with the family, and one of the siblings is no longer there. An absence that is felt by everyone and often not mentioned by anyone.

Or the family who always takes a vacation at Spring Break, and their child or teen has died. There is no point now. Oh boy, there are so many stories that speak to the changing seasons. Spring can be the hardest for people.

So why am I writing about this? First of all, for those of you who are struggling right now and don’t know why, check in on the meaning of season changes for you and your person. If you are struggling, reach out. The grief is felt when the season’s change is real. Spring can make the absence feel greater; the hole feels bigger. This is to be acknowledged. Care for yourself.

Secondly, for those who know someone who is grieving, check in with them. See if they need some help in a tangible way, or if they would like to have a conversation. Sometimes a listening ear is all that is necessary. People grieve with people. By showing up for your friend or family member, you are allowing them to grieve. “The only way out is through.” Your support will help them through.

Denise Torgerson
Community Programs