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Spring Grief

  • As the weather warms up and flowers begin to bloom again, signs of spring can feel contrary to grief. Many of you are telling us you feel stuck, angry, or sad as the seasons change. Grief is not predictable. It does not follow the calendar. It is your own, personal experience and however you are feeling today, it’s okay. 


    We asked three grief and end-of-life care experts to share tips for moving through grief right now. Here’s what they had to say. 


    On why grief doesn’t follow the calendar.


    “It's widely accepted during winter, we're allowed to be quietto recede into the comfort of our couches and blankets. But when there's a shift in weather, people expect that a switch will be flipped,” says Alica Forneret, founder of Forneret Co. and an author, educator, and consultant who creates spaces for people to explore their grief. “For many people who are experiencing grief after a loss, this shift isn't enough to bring us out of our slowness and our quietness—and it shouldn't have to.”


    “Grief is a natural result of love, and yet we're rarely encouraged to share our grief stories or express our emotions, especially after the presumed 'grieving period' has come to an end,” says Megan Sheldon, celebrant and co-founder of Be Ceremonial. “Many of us may notice that we have compounded grief from over a year of many losses, both visible and invisible.”


    On coping with grief while signs of spring are blooming around you. 


    “I advise anyone coping with grief this spring to just take it easy on themselves. This past year has been extremely challenging. Don't have unnecessary expectations of yourself to suddenly be ‘excited’ or ‘happy’ or ‘fine’ again. Just be yourself, use the energy you have, and respect the fact that sometimes you just won't have energy at all—sunny day or not,” says Alica.


    Megan agrees and advises creating an intentional time to acknowledge your feelings each day. “Light a candle, journal your thoughts, play a favourite song, or take a few deep breaths to acknowledge what you've lost and what you're currently grieving. Embrace your grief and remind yourself it's a reflection of the love you hold for someone or something you've lost,” she adds. 


    On connecting while still remaining apart.


    “While we're all still stuck to our household bubbles, the best tool I’ve found for dealing with grief is to connect with people online who are going through a similar loss. Whether it's a Facebook group, a Clubhouse chat about grief, or a grief group that meets online over Zoom, connecting with others can help to work through your feelings, and it's one way being forced to spend more time online has brought us closer together, no matter the season,” says Erin Bury, co-founder & CEO at Willful, a platform that makes it easy to get a will and power of attorney documents online in Canada.


    Celebrating the life of someone you loved with your community is one of the most powerful things you can do together. In addition to online groups, there are plenty of meaningful ways to support your friends and family after a loss no matter the season. Find more tips for giving and receiving socially-distant grief support here


    There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and certainly no timeframe in which to move through your feelings. Know that you are not alone, and whatever you feel today is okay. 


    If you want help with planning, facilitation, and tech support, the GatheringUs team will work with you to create a meaningful and personal memorial event. We free you up, so you can be fully present with your community. Contact GatheringUs to learn more. 


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