Growth and renewal

Megyn Wirkus, MST

Spring has always been my favorite season of the year. As the brown grass begins to turn green and the trees start to bud and their leaves start to grow, you can tell that the environment is going through growth and renewal. Neighbors are out in their yards and taking walks to enjoy the fresh air. It is exciting to see people in our neighborhoods enjoying the warmer temperatures and taking advantage of the extra hours of sunshine. There is just something about seeing a child running around in the yard freely enjoying life that brings hope to all of us after a long and cold winter. Thinking about the seasons, following the fall and winter where nature is dying - the spring season brings about lessons of growth and renewal where the darker days and cold are now gone and longer days are here.

This lesson from the environment is one that I continually try to apply to my changing life every year. As I shake off the winter blues, I try to look for ways that I can improve and grow through the next season of my life. Regardless of the weather, each season brings about its own triumphs and heartaches. It is important to embrace the lessons that each of these seasons of our lives have to teach us.

When I think back on the season of my life when my grandmother died, I struggled. I struggled for many reasons - one of those being that I was thinking about entering into the field of bereavement and starting my master’s degree in Thanatology (the study of death and dying). I wondered if I could do the work of grief and bereavement when my grandmother’s death rocked me so much. My grandmother died in April 2014. I took time to be outside and take in the lessons that the spring season of 2014 was trying to teach me. I trusted where life was taking me and as the granddaughter, I embraced being a part of all of the planning for my grandmother’s funeral. This experience taught me a lot and pushed me along on the path I am today, while I work in a field of grief and bereavement that I love.

The death of a loved one can be one of the most difficult things that we may have to walk through in our lives. Embark on this new season in your life and attempt to understand and work through the lessons that life is trying to teach you. Allow yourself the time to sit outside. Feel the spring breeze and the sun’s warmth on your face. Take in all the moments of this season. Today, I challenge you to think about your loved one and take in what you feel your loved one would want for you as you walk through your new season of life.

There is no doubt that this new season without your loved one will bring about difficult and emotional days. Think about it from the standpoint of another lesson that the spring season likes to teach us. While we love and take in the longer days with more sunshine, we must also embrace the days of rain as it brings about the growth and renewal. Find hope in these days to come and hold on to the love and memories that you shared with your loved one. Our loved ones would want us to continue to thrive, continue to grow, and continue to live life. Honor their memory by embracing your own growth and renewal in this spring season.

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