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Lean Into Spring
Grief Journey

Lean Into Spring

Spring has sprung. The flowers are blooming. The birds are singing. The sun is shining. So why do you feel so dark? So stuck? So empty? So sad, overwhelmed, and angry? Why do you long for cold, rainy, dark days?

Because you are grieving.

Because Spring can feel like pressure. Pressure to be present and live life in spite of how you are feeling on the inside. Pressure to feel a semblance of normal. Pressure to believe in the possibility of new. Spring may feel like a betrayal of your grief.

Grief is not predictable. It does not follow an order as the seasons do. It is personal. It is painful. It is messy. Grief can feel surprising, shocking, and never-ending.

Spring feels contrary to the realities of grief. It’s contrary to the experience of mourning. Sadness, anger, anxiety, loneliness, and feeling overwhelmed are feelings that do not match the sights and sounds of Spring. Yet there is much to be learned from the audacity of Spring.

Feelings of deep grief are the winter frost forcing us to lie dormant, to turn inward, to be in (and of) our grief. Trust in time that your Spring will come. That you too will begin to thaw. That in time you can and will push through the bitter heaviness of grief.

You will bloom once again, new, and different. You will grow towards the sun and find respite and healing in its warmth.

Your Spring will come. In your time. In your way. Perhaps in the most trivial and unexpected ways. Hearing the song of a bird and allowing that song to fill you. Noticing the crocus poking through the snow and experiencing a sense of awe at its resilience, strength, and courage. Feeling the warmth of sunshine from the inside out. Moments previously not accessible, now experienced with heightened awareness and even gratitude.

Lean into Spring. Go outside each day and write down one sound in nature you hear. One new flower or growth you see. Add to this list daily. At the end of one week reflect on this experience. Were you able to find some comfort (and maybe even hope) in noticing leaves on branches once barren, lying dormant under the weight of ice and snow? Nature provides a model for grieving, healing, and resilience. Nature teaches us that there is a season for everything.

Earth teach me to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life. Earth teach me resignation as the leaves which die in the fall. Earth teach me courage as the tree which stands all alone. Earth teach me regeneration as the seed which rises in the spring. ~William Alexander