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The Empty Place – Coping With Grief During the Spring Holidays
What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we deeply love becomes a part of us.
– Helen Keller
Anyone who has experienced grief knows that grief does not occur in a straight line. There are days when we think we are starting to feel a bit better and then all of a sudden, we hear a song, smell the scent of the cologne or perfume our loved one wore, or we pass someone in the street that looks like our loved one, and we are almost knocked off our feet by the wave of grief that washes over us. There is nothing that prepares us for these times when we are blindsided by our grief. We just have to catch our breath and ride the wave until we can stand on our feet again.
There are times though when we anticipate a coming day that we know our grief will be particularly strong. These days include birthdays, anniversaries and holidays that were commemorated in the past by happy family gatherings. We picture that empty place at the table, and our hearts feel especially empty. While we know these special days are not easy, especially when the loss of a loved one is recent, there are things we can do to help ourselves, and our other loved ones who are grieving during the holidays. The spring holidays, with their underlying themes of hope and renewal, are especially difficult when you are feeling dark and empty. Below are some suggestions that you may find helpful, or may want to share with someone who you know is grieving during this time:
- Stacey Cohen