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The Change of Seasons in Grief

Day 55: The Change of Seasons

The first day of Fall was yesterday and while some are anticipating gourd season and pumpkin spice lattes, most grievers are not. Many are questioning why the past week has felt hard, and are also confused by this shift in their grief.

Below is my attempt to provide some context for this normal uptick of tricky grief symptoms and rawness during a change of season.

Any transition in our lives will invite the opportunity for reflection—an assessment of what is different and what is the same. In Fall, the colder weather has us reflect on our summer, and also anticipate the winter. The leaves changing color might bring up what that same tree looked like last Fall. And whether it is conscious or not, these shifts bring up memories of the person who is no longer here, and what our life was like when our person was alive or our life looked so different.

Also, the change of season is a time marker. Time markers ignite a reflection on how time passes—where we have been and where our lives might be going. And for some grievers, any marker of the passing of time can feel so brutal—“I’m so much further away from him.” It can bring up the feeling that the person might slip away again, or that we might forget, or the person may become blurry in our memory.

These reactions to changes of season are normal. It is important to acknowledge the fears AND remind yourself that your love doesn’t end, ever, and that what we absolutely need to carry with us will remain.

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