The sun is shining today and the snow is melting. It is always such a good feeling when spring arrives.

Or is it.

Often, spring can bring up a major grief response for families. Families will do their yard work and prepare their gardens together. Everyone has a task. Everyone is good at something. There is a togetherness that happens as people work in the yard together. A different kind of togetherness. Couples spending the evening working out in the yard together, or teenagers having to mow the lawn, all of the tasks that seem just part of life – when we lose someone, these tasks will magnify the absence. So just to let you know, you might be feeling the feels this season.

Some of the emotions that can show up (they might not) are sadness, frustration, loneliness, inadequacy, and even anger. These are all normal responses to a situation that has changed. Often I hear wives speak of their sadness – it’s just not the same as it was when he was with me. Or young adults speak of frustration while at the same time pride – I have been doing all the stuff that dad used to do; I never realized how hard he worked. Husbands sharing stories of their wives as the experts of the garden. The men feeling inadequate and often lost.

Loneliness is present because it used to be something you shared, now it is just you. The fun of it is gone now. Now it is just a task. Anger – this is also normal. When we depend on someone to do the heavy lifting, or to design the garden, or even just to organize the tasks for everyone else and they are gone. This can make us feel angry towards our person for leaving.

So as you get ready to do the spring cleanup and yard work, remember – be gentle with yourself. It is okay if you do not feel okay. Spring is another event that can cause a grief response.

Take good care of yourself.

Denise Torgerson
Community Programs