September 28, 2020:
Grief is often affected by the changing of seasons. Fall is here and we have less daylight, crisper weather, and the earth is getting ready to hibernate. Even though it’s September, my mind is racing ahead to the holidays – from Halloween to New Year’s. Holiday anticipation combined with seasonal change (and S.A.D. for some of us) often exacerbate things that are already difficult when grieving. Stress, sleeping more or less, eating differently than usual, feeling isolated or over-socialized, alterations to routines…these can all show up as we move into Fall and Winter.
The changing of seasons also reminds me of two of my favorite grief writings. The first is a poem called “Seasons of Grief” by Belinda Stotler about the death of her sister. Her poem reflects on the cycles and changes and questions that arise as we move through and with grief. Here’s a link to the poem: https://familyfriendpoems.com/poem/38420
The second is a children’s book called “The Fall of Freddie the Leaf” by Leo Buscaglia. The book shares a conversation between Freddie and Daniel, two leaves on a tree, about the cycle of life and death. Here’s a link to a reading of the story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qst-rXrU81o
As we move into Fall and adjust to the changes in light, temperature, and activity be sure to embrace whatever form your grief takes, and find ways to care for your body, mind, and heart.