Wild Grief: Changing Seasons

Published 3 months ago • 3 min read

March 7, 2024

Hello, Reader!

Grief changes shape, but it never ends.
Keanu Reeves

When seasons change, grief can change as well.

You may see this newsletter has a new appearance! I have long loved this time of year and the change it promises. That has definitely been more challenging since Tony died. However, a small change like a new email template seems manageable.

As we anxiously anticipate Spring here in the northern hemisphere, and those of you in the southern hemisphere await Fall, let's reflect on how grief can be affected by the seasons.

Spring is often associated with birth and renewal. Autumn is connected to loss.

And the two are truly connected. We cannot live without dying, and grief from death acknowledges the love and life we felt. Yet, the balance of these and knowing that one must exist for the other does not always ease the pain of grief or the bittersweetness joy now has.

Sibling Specific Seasonal Challenges

As we enter the new season, our grief may likely change. It may remind us of our siblings, traditions, holidays, and togetherness. So often these times as children are spent together more so than with the adults in our lives.

Memories of childhood Spring Breaks or Fall gatherings may be bittersweet. Perhaps you recall when you hunted for Easter Eggs together or remember your sibling asking questions as the Passover Seder. Maybe Holi brings certain colorful memories of your sibling and you. Or even perhaps, you remember celebrating May the Fourth with a sibling who loved Star Wars. (Tony did and the was the obligatory meme, call, and text to him that day.) Perhaps, picking and planting flowers in the northern hemisphere or raking leaves in the southern one brings your sibling to mind.

Recalling these may bring joy, tears, anger, sadness, and so much more. In fact, maybe all those reactions will happen within the same minute.

Expectations & Obligations

Yet, this grief can feel foreign as we feel we "should" be doing, feeling, or experiencing life in a certain way. I have a colleague who likes to say, "You're 'shoulding' all over yourself" when her clients or colleagues engage in this behavior. (I have to be honest; I wish I could share that phrase with Tony just to hear his laugh.) Are you 'shoulding' on yourself with regards to your grief and seasons changing?

We may be told that our siblings "would want" us to be happy or to do the thing that is now painful to do. We are often expected to act as we did before they were gone.

But we can't possibly be the same - even if we choose to do all that is expected or anticipated. And see that's the thing: you have a choice to do what is best for you.

This is a reminder, to be kind and gentle with yourself. If you find your grief taking new shape or that you no longer want to do the thing you always did, it's okay. If you want to do them, and they are fine, great! And, if you start and it's too difficult, allow yourself to change course. Whatever you do, go easy and try to refrain from judging yourself.

Summer Plans

As spring leads into summer, many make plans to travel. I hope your travel plans will include traveling to the beautiful Laurel Highlands outside of Pittsburgh in August to join us at our retreat. More info is below including what to do if you have more questions or concerns. Presale pricing ends on March 13th.

Warmly,

Retreat Info

Find solace, understanding, and community

Join us in August for connection and support.


The Sibling Grief Refuge is more than just a retreat; it's an opportunity to find comfort, validation, and a path forward on your grief journey in a community of other surviving siblings.

Space is limited to ensure personalized attention, and the presale offers, lowest price, it will be ends on March 13th. Don't miss this chance!

Find out more here: https://thebrokenpack.com/sibling-loss-retreat/

Have questions or concerns? Click Here to schedule a call to discuss!

Ready to sign-up? Click below

Podcast

The Broken Pack™: Stories of Adult Sibling Loss

Want to learn more about the podcast episodes? Did you know each episode has it's own page? Catch up before Season 4 starts at the end of March!

How can you support us?

  • Listen, follow, like, share, and subscribe to our social media especially Instagram, and our podcast. If so inclined, please leave positive reviews and 5 star ratings of the podcast wherever you listen. This will help us tremendously.
  • Please support the ongoing efforts of The Broken Pack™ by shopping the Not Done Here™ sibling loss collection or by making a gift (of which all proceeds go to supporting adult sibling loss survivors.
  • Stay tuned for our announcements!
  • Join us at SIbling Grief Refuge, our retreat. Learn more here.
  • Catch-up and listen to the podcast. Season 3 has just finished, and all seasons are out wherever you get your podcasts. Season 4 will begin at the end of March!
  • Keep reading these newsletters and share with others to help us get the word out!
  • If this was forwarded to you, go here to subscribe.

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I'm Dr. Angela Dean, a sibling loss survivor, a thanatologist, and a psychologist in private practice. I'm also the founder & owner of The Broken Pack™, an organization supporting adult survivors of adult sibling loss. We are also committed to supporting survivors and educating others on sibling loss and grief. Sign up to receive our newsletter, WIld Grief, to stay up to date!

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