Grief is a very difficult passage to make. We hope when we are grief stricken that someday we will no longer grieve. The reality in grief is that we really don’t “get over” it; we learn instead to live with it.

I lost my son to an opiate addiction in 2007. As you can imagine, it was a very difficult time in my life. As a mother, I did everything I could to keep him alive and happy. However, the day came in my life where parenting had to change. When my son became an adult, I had to let go and the next phase of spiritual awakening occurred then. I had to focus on taking care of me, since I had no control over my adult children.

I pray often that I can love myself as much as I have loved my children. I work at it daily.

I live in Ohio and as the seasons change, so does my grief.

We are rapidly approaching a time change, and will be losing our daylight hours. For some, this results in what we call Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is a pretty common diagnosis in this area of the country. As we lose our sun and daylight hours, we must be cognizant of how to feel better.

It goes without saying that we benefit immediately on a beautiful summer or fall day with a walk, gardening, outdoor sports, etc. The Vitamin D is not only good for our bodies but it is good for our souls as well. This is why it is so important to plan wisely to have something to look forward to. This will help to combat the blues or keep us from a grief spasm, as I call them.

I am sure to make my plans. For example, this time of year, I am in my cookbooks or online looking for recipes for different soups. There isn’t anything better for me but to wake up to in the morning but the smell of soup from the crockpot or to arrive home after a stressful day and walk in to the smell of delicious chicken soup or lentil soup. I tell my clients, it’s like having a wife at home!

I am also aware of the TV programs that begin in the fall that I look forward to watching. I’m a musician (my day job is a mental health counselor). I look forward to The Voice. It gives me something to anticipate when I walk in the door on Monday and Tuesday evenings. Find your programs and start thinking about them. The beauty of that is that we experience what we focus on. If we are focusing on something painful, we will feel the pain. So why wouldn’t the opposite be true?

It is a better choice to focus on something pleasurable to feel relief from the blues. Perhaps, you’ll experience some joy and happiness if your positive thoughts/experiences are strong enough.

The most important thing to remember is that we experience what we focus on. Fnd something meaningful and you will be pleasantly surprised at how much better you can feel. The people, places and things that feel good will be sure to lift your mood.

Marilyn Burns



Marilyn Burns

I started my career in mental health 34 years ago. I've always been drawn to helping others. I have many highlights in my career and the one that I am most proud of was the building and directing of the holistic health center in Canfield Ohio in 1996. This was significant was many reasons but has helped me as a professional and individual. I am divorced and have been for many years. My youngest son Chris was in social work until his death in 2007 and my surviving son, Jason, is an attorney in Ohio. He is employed with the law director in Trumbull County. My specialty in mental health is PTSD. I am very interested in helping others to grow through their pain and to understand the path to healing and recovery from loss

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