After an unusually, stormy, cold winter all over the nation, spring has finally arrived. The days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer, and the flowers are now blooming. Along with nature’s beauty comes thoughts of our children who are no longer with us. Oh, how they, too, would love the beautiful sunsets, seeing the return of the birds from the south and perhaps experience a new crop or newly born animals coming out of their winter shelters.
But they will not see any of this, and it makes me very sad to think not only what we parents have lost but also of what they, our children, have lost. It was only after my daughter died that I came to appreciate the little things in life, stopping for a moment to listen to two birds talking to each other, watching airplanes leave streaks across the clear blue sky; and seeing Marcy’s favorite flower blooming, the lily, knowing that I will leave those flowers on her grave the next time I visit the cemetery.
Many, many things I have come to realize are not very important when you compare them to losing a child: the daily baseball scores, the fact that gasoline has gone up another penny, the most recent Hollywood couple to divorce.
We don’t always have good days; the sense of loss and emptiness is greatly intensified on these beautiful days and has emotional triggers for the bereaved – graduations, Mother’s Day, summer vacation and trees blooming once again.
The coming of spring does not make everything okay again. What it does do is offer hope: hope that the pain of losing your child will ease a little with each passing year, hope that your grief work will help you in the healing process, and hope that you will be able to move forward into a new life full of promise.
Spring reminds us that regardless of what has happened in our lives, nature’s process continues as we must also. Be kind and patient with yourself. Don’t expect too much, too soon, but try to let a little of the hope that spring can offer into your body, and notice the smile that will form both on your face and in your heart.