Grief and Loss: When Seasons Change
A very real part of living with or dealing with an individual with a severe or untreated mental health disorder is loss and grief. For the rest of us, unexpected change can usher in feelings of loss and grief.
Life is change. I heard an elderly friend recently say, “life is a trip, watch your steps.” It takes many levels of awareness, insight, and introspection to understand where we are and where life has positioned us in our individual lives. The places in which we often find ourselves can reflect the patterns of nature’s seasons. Through conversation with a close spiritual mentor, I found myself considering the dire need for humans to reflect and question, track their progress and adjust their goals, and live with more purpose by living “on purpose” (i.e., mindfulness).
Introspection superseded my logic and steered the vehicle of my focus back on track. I realize the power of “seasons” in our lives and how they change, not by our own doing but by the power of a Greater Being.
Whatever you believe, everyone experiences seasons. Unfortunately, it seems that we only recognize it when life hits us hard. But I’ve learned that it pays to prepare (to the best of our ability) by understanding how seasons enter and leave our lives on a “schedule.”
Here is a compiled list that might offer you some insight about whatever difficult situation you may be experiencing as an individual, caregiver, family member, or friend:
- Spring: In a perfect world our lives would always shine and reflect the beauty of a perfect spring day. It would continually offer rewards and memorable moments. Life would never change, hurt, perplex, or challenge us before we’re ready. In the springtime of our lives, nothing matters but what our future beholds. Loved one’s may be healthy or successful and relationships stable.
- Summer: During the summertime of our lives things are even better. We’re happy, self-assured, hopeful, vibrant, and motivated. We see new possibilities and experience little pain. Everything just feels right. Do you remember a time like this in your life?
- Fall: “Harvest” time often greets us with challenges we aren’t prepared for. This time challenges the very core of everything understood. We redefine our lives and ourselves, adjust goals, and make changes. Sometimes this season feels like eternity, especially for people experiencing repeated loss and grief.
- Winter: The winter time of life is cold. There is nothing left and you simply feel burned out. You have little hope, motivation, and desire. You experience one loss after another. You struggle with loved ones, relationships, and change. You aren’t accepting of anything in your life. Many families feel this way while experiencing a season in which a loved one has slipped into a psychosis or is depressed.
We all face pain, grief, and loss at some point in our lives. The key is what we choose to do with these experiences. There are 3 things I have learned to do that may be helpful to you as well:
- Surrender: Don’t fight change. Change is inevitable; we’re no different than the rest of humanity. All things live, die, and change. Sometimes we have to accept the season we’re in. With acceptance comes greater awareness and knowledge.
- Self-Care: Take care of yourself during a season in which you are unprepared. Taking time to reflect, organize your thoughts, and identify distorted thoughts is important.
- Embrace Inspiration: Look for hope and a new experience in things around you. What could your current position in the world be saying to you? Is there something you need to change?
The season of winter can seem like eternity. But rest assure that your season will change very much like the seasons of nature.
All the best
©Photo Credit: Billy Alexander
Hill, T. (2013). Grief and Loss: When Seasons Change. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 9, 2016, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/caregivers/2013/01/grief-and-loss-when-seasons-change/