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Sunshine and Sorrow: Why Grief Can Get Intense When the Days Get Longer

For those who’ve lost a loved one, spring and summer can bring back memories and intensify grief. Explore why grief often heightens during these seasons and find guidance on coping.

Warm rays of sunshine, blooming flowers, and joyful laughter from people enjoying a warm breeze are among the delights of spring and summer. For many, these seasons bring a renewed sense of hope and happiness. However, for those who have lost a loved one, the arrival of spring and summer can bring back memories and intensify grief. In this article, we will explore why grief often heightens during spring and summer and offer guidance on coping during these seasons.

Memories Blossom, and So Does Grief

As the winter frost melts away and the world starts to awaken, the arrival of spring can bring a flood of memories. It's a time when those who have passed may be remembered most fondly. The absence of loved ones during these moments can be painful and overwhelming.

It's hard to forget the traditions and activities you shared with your dear ones during the warmer months. Perhaps it was planting a garden together, enjoying a delicious barbeque, or embarking on family vacations. These experiences, once sources of joy, can also be poignant reminders of your loss. The absence of their presence during these seasons amplifies the already challenging grieving process.

The Changing of Seasons

The arrival of spring and summer can also worsen grief as our emotions contrast with the happiness around us. It's as if the world is moving forward, basking in the warmth of sunlight, while we remain stuck in our sorrow.

We see children playing outside and families gathering for picnics. The social energy of the season can leave us feeling isolated and disconnected from the world around us. However, it's important to remember that grief is not a race or a competition. Each person experiences grief in their unique way and on their timeline. We must permit ourselves to feel the emotions and navigate them at our own pace.

Understanding the Unpredictability of Grief

Grief is not a linear journey. It doesn't adhere to a set timetable or follow a predictable path. It is a profoundly personal experience that can ebb and flow without warning. The arrival of spring and summer can trigger unexpected waves of grief. It catches us off guard amidst the widespread assumption that these seasons are meant for joy and celebration.

When grief hits us during these times, we may feel guilty for not fully embracing the season's joy. Recognizing that there is no right or wrong way to grieve is crucial. It is a visceral and complex process that demands patience, self-compassion, and acceptance.

Navigating Loss in Every Season

Coping with grief requires a therapeutic approach. It means allowing ourselves to honor our loss while finding ways to adapt and heal over time. Here are some strategies to help navigate the grieving process during these seasons:

1. Seek Support

Connecting with others who have experienced a similar loss can provide immense comfort and solace. Consider joining a grief support group. You can also seek guidance from a professional counselor.

2. Express Emotions Through Art

Try journaling or writing letters to your loved one. You could also create an art piece in their memory. Art can serve as an outlet for processing emotions and preserving memories.

3. Embrace Vulnerability

Allow yourself to be open about your grief with trusted friends, family members, or professionals. Sharing your feelings can provide relief, creating a space for others to offer understanding and support.

4. Reflect and Remember

Take time to reflect on the memories you shared with your loved one. Consider creating a memorial ritual or participating in activities that honor their legacy.

5. Adjust Expectations

Understand that it's okay to not feel the same level of joy or enthusiasm as others around you during these seasons. Give yourself permission to set realistic expectations. Try to prioritize self-care and well-being during this time of heightened emotions.

Support from Professionals 

Navigating the emotional waves of grief during spring and summer requires empathy, self-compassion, and an acknowledgment of our unique grieving processes. Our partners are wonderful sources of help before, during, and after the funeral. They can guide you to online resources and those in the community they serve. Remember that grieving in a healthy way is possible, and you are never alone on this journey. If you ever need a helping hand or a listening ear, please know we are always here. Find one of our nearby providers.