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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Seasons of Grief and Healing

It's strange how life moves on after you've experienced a loss so profound that your world is literally rocked to the core.    As the seasons changed throughout the past 10 months, so did my grief.  Each season seemed to coincide with a new stage of the grieving process (or healing process as I try to look at it now). 

Summer: Scott died at the very start of summer season, before school was over, before JJ graduated elementary school and before Paige graduated middle school.  Life was so busy for all of us.  Almost too busy for the real grief to set in.  Once school let out and summer vacation started, time seemed to almost stand still.  Real life wasn't happening...I was taking care of all the logistical things that need to be done when your spouse passes away and spending time with family and friends.  Of course I grieved but I was also relieved that Scott wasn't suffering any more...that he was finally at peace and that brought some peace to me as well.  

Fall:   I think for me, it wasn't until the fall that I started to truly grieve the loss of Scott in my life and that might sound strange but it's true.  This is when I began to miss my healthy Scott in our everyday lives.  His missing presence was starting to feel suffocating, and that feeling was growing bigger, not smaller.  While life moved on all around me, I found it hard to focus on the everyday things...even every day conversations with others were hard.   How could it be possible that I would be living the rest of my life without him? This is not how we planned it.  We were supposed to grow old together.

Winter: This season was by far the worst of the year.  The cold, short, grey days seemed to bring on a deep saddness and lonliness that felt almost unbearable at times.  The nights at home were lonely and weekends without him seemed just as bad as the nights.   I shed so many tears and had moments when I had to call on friends and family to help to pull me out of my grief.  It was something I couldn't get through alone.  

Spring: Thank God for spring.  The season of new life, new beginnings, sunshine and flowers.   I think the sun can have a powerful effect on the human spirit.  As soon as the sun started warming up the air, I started enjoying sitting outside for lunch or just to soak in some sun in the yard.   I would even feel comforted by the sound of the birds chirping, remembering how much Scott loved the birds.  I setup a new feeder pole and Paige painted the old bird house, it was enjoyable, almost happy.  The kids and I and my sister also took a trip to Arizona for spring break  (this will be another blog post as there is a lot to share about the trip too!)...we made new memories together.   This felt bitter-sweet at first as it was the first New adventure that we embarked on without him but I know Scott was with us in spirit and he'd be so happy we went.  We had an amazing trip together.

I'm not saying that I don't still grieve Scott...believe me I do.  As I stood overlooking the red rocks in Sedona, I cried.  I cried because I wished he was there with me, I wanted to share that with him and I cried for all the emotion that something that beautful brings out in all of us.   After the trip,  I returned home and cried again for he holds such a large presence in our home and I missed him and grieved him all over again.  My grief is not over as it will go on for my lifetime in some way or another but I'm thankful for the changing of the seasons and how each one has represented a stage in the grieving process or as I'm trying to view it differently now, the healing process.   

Each season, I visited Scott's resting spot at the back of the church.  The changing of the season was evidence that time had passed and I made it through.  Life was going on and I was living each day the best I could, hoping Scott would be proud.  

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