Published on October 23, 2015

Seasons of Grief

By Kate Bowman, Grief Counselor with Genesis Hospice

The Four Seasons

Shall I wither and fall like an autumn leaf,
From this deep sorrow - from this painful grief?
How can I go on or find a way to be strong?
Will I ever again enjoy life's sweet song?

Sometimes a warm memory sheds light in the dark
And eases the pain like the song of a meadow lark.
Then it flits away on silent wings and I'm alone;
Hungering for more of the light it had shone.

Shall grief's bitter cold sadness consume me,
Like a winter storm on the vast angry sea?
How can I fill the void and deep desperate need
To replant my heart with hope's lovely seed?

- Belinda Stotler

Love Leads to Loss

The greatest gift of life is the capacity to love. Yet in opening ourselves to experience the beauty and joy of love is the inevitable reality: we will experience grief.

Love, loss and grief are the universal realities which connect us in our humanity. Although universal, the experience of grief is unique to each individual as is their love and loss.

Grief has the power to impact and permeate every aspect of our lives. The layers of grief impact aspects of the physical, emotional, spiritual and social aspects in our lives.

Loss Leads to Grief

Grief is a testament to loss and love.

Grief is a testament to loss and love. 

Grief is marked by transition. Much like the change of the seasons, grief has seasons of its own. From the withering of the autumn leaves transitioning into the quiet solitude of winter, we are forced to relinquish and let go of our physical connection with our loved one.

In parting, we experience a painful separation and in turn enter into the nature of our grief. Allowing ourselves to feel the intensity of emotions associated with grief can be frightening, overwhelming and exhausting.

Instinctively, often these unusually painful emotions motivate us to contain, internalize or hide our feelings. Yet our attempts to avoid experiencing this degree of feeling can have negative consequences to our overall well being. In fact, there is strength in allowing vulnerability.

To withhold grief is destructive, but to release it brings healing. Transformation occurs when we open ourselves to our emotional vulnerability because in allowing grief to be expressed, we honor our hearts and our love for others. In doing so we also celebrate the beauty of our relationship with our deceased loved one as we find healing.

Grief Leads to Healing

there is hope

As in the renewal of nature’s seasons, we find
the spring of hope breaking through grief’s
darkness.

While the experience of our grief is a reflection of our extraordinary capacity to love and grief is a natural and normal way of coming to terms with this loss, finding an understanding soul and supportive spirit to join us on grief’s journey is not as easy as we sometimes think it will be.

We would be honored to companion you on your journey with grief. You are not alone. We remain available to be a presence of support and comfort, providing opportunity for you to explore, share and process your feelings central to your loss. It is our privilege to witness and celebrate with you the beauty of the special relationship shared with your loved one.

Click here for more support. You may also contact a Genesis Grief Support staff member at 563-421-5000.

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Grieving the loss of a loved one?

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Free, confidential online grief support is here.

For immediate support, call Genesis Grief Support at:

(563) 421-5000