Well it's time for summer! The warmth, the yard work, the gardening, getting the RV ready for camping, all of these activities are reasons for happiness, yes?
I have had numerous conversations with people who have lost a loved one lately and they are telling me that they are having a really hard time right now. That the grief feels more intense.
It is not just husbands and wives. This is showing up with sisters, brothers, friends, moms, dads and roommates.
It is a reality for some, that all of these activities that have been reasons for happiness in the past, are now reasons for mourning.
Yard work, gardening and RV's are usually activities that are shared. The conversations that happen as you plan the garden, the working together to get the yard work done, and of course the summer camping plans.
And their person is not with them. Planning the garden isn't as much fun without those conversations, doing the yard work is – well – it's harder, or simply doesn't mean as much. And making plans for the summer, getting the RV ready, throws them into the question – "who am I now, without my person?"
I am writing this article for two reasons. The first is for to those who are grieving. I know this doesn't make your experience any easier, but I want you to know that you are not alone. This season change is the most difficult for many people. There is nothing wrong with you. The grief is more present. The absence is felt more now. The frustration and sadness and sometimes anger is almost tangible now. This is a normal experience in grieving. It is intense, it is difficult and it is uncomfortable. Be gentle with yourself. Extreme self-care is necessary.
The second reason I am writing this is to reach out to others who know someone who has lost a loved one. If you could offer some help, or an invitation, or even a phone call. Just be available to your friends in what ever way works for them. What they are going through is real and it is not to be diminished. When people are grieving they tend to keep to themselves, and while sometimes this is necessary, it is good for them to be aware that people have their back. It is good for them to know that there are people who care and who understand.