Spring Challenges Bereaved Mom to Find Hope

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

Amy C. Maddocks

Amy Maddocks

More Articles Written by Amy

As an author, educator, wife, and mother, Amy Maddocks learned firsthand about the grief and trials one experiences when losing a child when her son, Connor, died. More than 120,000 children die each year in the United States alone, and of those, more than eighty percent die before their first birthday. Grief-stricken families, friends, and communities are overwhelmed by the unexpected experience of such loss. Usually, they don’t know how to cope or how to make a life without that special person in it. One of Amy’s purposes in life is to help those families make a wonderful life after such a tragedy. Amy published a book about child loss, called "Too Precious For Earth." It reads like a novel but assists like a self-help book. Part of her goal with the book has been to spread the word that there are many bereaved parents surrounding us every day, and people need to understand what the parents go through and what they need to heal. It not only is a great book for anyone who has suffered a loss, but also for those who want to be enlightened and uplifted. Amy currently lives in Okinawa, Japan, teaching school to military children.  She graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Education and is currently progressing toward her Masters in Learning and Technology.  She is a free-lance writer for CNN Travel, Okinawa Hai Magazine, the Open to Hope Foundation, and Venture Magazine. Amy is a volunteer with many organizations, both online and in her local community. When she isn’t teaching or writing, Amy enjoys outdoor activities such as geocaching, camping, four-wheeling, rafting, and pretty much anything to do with the outdoor world. She also enjoys digital scrapbooking and helping others.

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  • Shirley Wiles-Dickinson says:

    I like this piece. This is my second spring without my sister. Both she and I loved springtime. Last year and again this year, I will take my walks and I when see all the flowers beginning to bloom, the trees budding, the grass turning green, I will see it all, then I will pause and see it again. Once for me, once for her.

  • Amy Maddocks says:

    Thanks for your comments, Shirley. I love how you both loved springtime, and that this year you will see the beauty for you both! You will be in my thoughts as I do the same.

  • Gina Phillips says:

    I enjoyed your writing about springtime. I just lost my son 6 weeks ago. He was 21 and fell 30 feet out of a tree.He loved the spring and it is so hard when I see all the joys around me that we always enjoyed together, then it hits again that he will not be here to enjoy it this year.but your article has given me hope that maybe eventually I will embrace the spring again.

  • Amy Maddocks says:

    Thanks for your thoughts, Gina. I’m so sorry for what you are having to endure…just know you are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. You WILL embrace spring again, but it WILL take time. Just be easy on yourself and know that you are not alone. ♥

  • Staci Bishop says:

    Your piece hit home for me. This is the first spring without my Dillon. He was in an accident on Mother’s Day last year-just as everything was starting to bloom, just the time of year when I would plant the garden. All around the yard, I see the plants and shrubs and trees helped me plant after the house was built. Sometimes I find solace in the yard he helped me landscape-other times it is unbearable. I will always have “our garden” and I’m glad of that.

  • well this is like my 9th spring…
    there is just something wrong w/ me
    Spring does not Spring for me
    Spring has Sprung

  • Amy Maddocks says:

    Becky…I’m so sorry for your pain. There is nothing wrong with you. Spring will never be the same for me, as well. You just learn to live a different way, don’t we. Hopefully some day you will be able to see Spring beauty again. But until then, know you are in my thoughts. ♥