Spring is coming. While it might not seem like it with all snow and rain in many states this winter, everything will begin sprouting green soon because of all that moisture.

Usually we all look forward to spring because that means summer and warmth is coming. It means everyone will be outside. But when we are grieving, it’s just the opposite.

We dread everything blooming because in our lives someone very important to us has died. We miss that person and all that he or she meant to us. It’s painful to watch the first flowers of the season start to sprout their color while our lives feel as if we have lost some color.

However much pain we might be feeling, life does not stop because our loved one died. In my own experience, this was one of the most painful aspects of my losses. I wanted so badly for the world to stop for a moment and acknowledge all that I had lost. And when it didn’t, I hurt more.

But now, as I have processed through my losses – I don’t say that time heals anything because time doesn’t mean that we have processed the loss – I am happy to see spring and the colors.

I do believe that winter is important, everything must die to rise again, and be stronger. And now I see that sometimes in our own lives we have to experience loss, too, to make ourselves stronger.

This doesn’t mean I advocate for things like “having a burden to carry.” The reality is that I can’t bring back the people who have died in my life. But what I can do is go forward to have the most amazing, happy life possible.

And sometimes the only way for it to happen is to experience the long winter before a bright spring.

Michelle Linn-Gust, Ph.D. has spent two decades educating people worldwide about coping with loss and change, and has served as president of the American Association of Suicidology. Her first book following her sister's death, Do They Have Bad Days in Heaven? Surviving the Suicide Loss of a Si..., inspired siblings around the world in their survival after a loved one’s suicide. She recently published her eighth book, Conversations with the Water: A Memoir of Cultivating Hope, chronicling her grief journey as she moves forward beyond the suicide and loss field. Learn more about Michelle at www.inspirebymichelle.com.

Image via Michelle Linn-Gust

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Comment by velia guevara on April 30, 2014 at 4:37am

I wish I could do that. I admire your bravery . My 23 yr old son died last year in a motorcycle accident and I still am in mayor pain. I have a panic attack everyday , I cry uncontrollably and this is at work . My job does help , but I find no joy in life whatso ever .I guess u can say im in mayor depression and don't know how to get out of it. 

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