From COPE Clinical Director Amy Olshever, PhD, LCSW
How do you feel when you see the purple and yellow of new crocuses? Or at the arrival of the first robin? The beginning of spring might make you feel better and feel new hope. And when we are grieving, feeling better and hopeful may also make us feel as if we are betraying the memory of our lost loved one. It is normal to experience new heightened grief or anxiety related to your grief in spring, just as it is in other seasons of the year. Although warmer, sunnier months can be nurturing and inspire new hopefulness, grief does not suddenly go away just because seasons change.
Spring generally brings a sudden flurry of change and things begin to move faster all around us. There is rebirth and renewal in nature as flowers and trees bloom and everything turns green again, and people quickly begin to flock to their favorite warm-weather activities. Try to take time to sit down and make some plans that can nurture you and help you cope with your losses and grief.
A helpful way to respond to anxiousness about spring and summer is to remind yourself about those things that YOU are in control of. Warmer months offer other opportunities for nurturing activities such as walking in nature, planting gardens, photography, family gatherings, stargazing, and many other things. When you are outside, take a moment to inhale and then to exhale. To be in control of the one moment you have control over. And give yourself permission to experience the warmth of spring on your face and in your heart.