Grief is often compared to seasons. Generally, when grief is brought up- it is usually shown as winter.
However, the transitioning of seasons to someone who has experienced a death loss can be even more startling. The end of spring going into the beginning of summer is well known as a time of celebration and happiness.
Warm weather, planning graduations, vacations, and even the vibrant colors can seem shocking to someone who is grieving.
Grief is a challenging emotion to deal with on the easiest of days. When you are sad, tired, angry, depressed, or anxious while everyone else around you is happy, excited, and making plans, it makes it feel as if you are the only person on earth.
The critical thing to remember- is that weather and the people surrounding you are not the benchmarks of your own emotions. Grief is normal, and natural and can easily be experienced no matter what the season. Sadness does not have a season and to a grieving person, the amount of sunlight outside can actually make things worse- because it feels like they are “supposed” to be happy.
This year, stay-at-home orders are ending all around the country at this time. As everyone is excitedly making plans to meet up after being forced to stay inside, to a person who is not quite ready to make the step into social situations- it can make them feel even more isolated. There is nothing unnatural about needing more time. The pandemic situation has tossed “normal” right out the window and has forced everyone into behavior that they may be unfamiliar with.
This shift, which has been eagerly anticipated by many, might be surprisingly shocking to someone who is experiencing a death loss. While in forced isolation, it was common for people to feel down or tired. With the country opening back up, the grievers may feel left behind- because they might not be ready to make the transition just yet.
This year, grief is not only being felt by those experiencing a death loss. There is a strong sense of communal grief being felt while we watch our work, health-care, education, and economic systems destabilize all around us. These are all systems that we count on for a sense of normalcy while we lead our day to day lives. While many people will be able to bounce back- there are those that may need some extra help. There is absolutely no shame in needing extra help to see you through the transitioning of this pandemic, or the grief you are feeling from a death loss.
Help is out there for those needing a hand through this seasonal and stay-at-home transition. At Actively Moving Forward, we have several different resources that you can access through the privacy of your own home. The recently launched AMF app is available 24/7- it is a source of help right at your fingertips. Everything from virtual support groups, to online counseling, is available to anyone who needs it.