Springtime is upon us, along with all the excitement of new growth, new life, and new beginnings. But spring doesn’t hold such new hope and life for everyone. Those who have endured the death of a loved one don’t always welcome the new seasons.
My son died in mid-winter, so when spring came around, I scoffed at all of the new beginnings around me. It’s easy to get caught up in feelings of anger, resentment, and isolation. But it’s much harder to embrace change, learn from it, grow from it, and make a new normal.
For me, it took time, understanding, time, patience, time, and more time to enjoy spring again (do you see a pattern here?). Time doesn’t necessarily “heal” all wounds, but it does lessen their sting. It leaves behind scars that remind us of the battles we have fought and won. It lets us know that we can be stronger than we ever thought possible. I wear my scars proudly, knowing that I have come out of my experiences a changed—but better — person than I was before.
This spring, I challenge you to try and see the new life transpiring around you in a new light. Find one thing—a budding flower, a new baby animal, a leaf growing on a bare tree—and focus on the beauty. Focus on and see that new life as a sign that your loved one is thriving on the other side.
In every new life, I see my precious angel, Connor. Yet, it wasn’t always that way. I used to turn away from nature and new beginnings, but now I focus on the positive influence my son’s life had on all those around him. I try to focus on the constructive instead of the harmful.
We all have good days and bad days, but I find that as I embrace the changes around me, my good days outnumber the bad. You, too, can get to this point. Know that you are stronger than you realize, and that you can rise above the calamities that befall you—rising up a better person than you ever thought possible.
Amy C. Maddocks 2011