There are seasons to grief. Different resources are needed in each season and they are not tied to time but to the prevailing experience in that moment. I am in the process of creating a 1-on-1 consulting offer called Navigating the Seasons of Grief, starting with Winter and going backwards to Summer because that’s how it really goes.
1st Season of Grief is Winter
- Barely able to get out of bed
- Numb, everything seems unreal
- Trouble sleeping or remembering to eat
- Crying many hours a day or no tears at all
- Getting rid of things quickly or holding onto everything
- Unable to function, focus or think
- Operating with a backdrop of despair most days
2nd Season of Grief is Fall
- Getting out of bed most days but with difficulty
- Thinking of a reason to get up, live every day and go on
- Sleeping a little better but easily exhausted by people and situations
- Crying most days but not for hours or beginning to have tears again
- Getting impatient with lack of focus and unreliable energy
- Feeling pressure to get back to the capable person you were
- Grief brain makes remembering bills and other simple tasks hard
- Operating between grief light and despair, less pervasive, still endless
3rd Season of Grief is Spring – TBD
4th Season of Grief is Summer – TBD
Common issues include breakdowns in capacity to think and act, remembering to eat and drink, and having difficulty asking for support and staying connected to community. The secrecy and shame of these conversations exacerbates the experience of being dropped out of time. We, as the bereaved, want the time and space to grieve for as long as necessary in a world that is moving on way faster than we are ready.
There are specific solutions for all these concerns, specific to the season of grief we are in. It’s essential to continue live at the same time as we grieve and that is an uncommon skill set I have learned and can teach you. I will continue to map out the seasons as I create these resources. Stay tuned.