Mourning season is not the same as allergy season. Mourning is an extended period of time spent experiencing pain and sorrow after a loss.
Losing a significant loved one is a major loss.
Mourning through loss can turn up in other ways, too. The termination of a relationship, the end of a dream, or a missed opportunity are also losses to be mourned. A devastating diagnosis of illness for yourself (or even for someone you know) requires temporary or permanent life changes is another invitation to mourn.
In its coldest definition, loss is something that no longer exists in our lives as we know it. Loss is a realization that life will no longer be the same. It is here at the recognition of loss, or potential loss, we enter the season of mourning.
Most of us have been taught that mourning arrives after the death of a dear person or beloved pet, but sometimes hints of loss are offered, and sometimes we have full knowledge of what is to come.
Just as allergy season can be expected along with budding trees and spring flowers, we can anticipate mourning as we watch our beloved person-pet-dream begin to diminish. It is a scary and intimidating thing to anticipate walking into the valley of mourning when you have foreknowledge of a loss to come; even more so, if you have been granted the terrible gift to escort someone to the end of life.
We all experience the pain of loss. It is felt at the very core of our being. We feel different because of the loss and it requires a recalibration of identity to answer the questions, “Who am I now?” “How do I live my life without this person, relationship, or dream?”
Where do you go to mourn? Where do you go with your painful thoughts and aching heart? How do you mourn?
My unasked for advice? Go ahead. Mourn your loss. Observe where your body feels it the most. As hard as it is, let yourself feel it. Sit with it for a while. Notice if it ebbs just a little, and then resurges back with a rush.
Find someone to sit with you in this time, someone who sees your pain and can sit with you in wordless silence.
Be confident that after a time the pain of the loss will lessen and you will find comfort. Allow yourself to be in mourning for however long it takes. Be consoled in understanding that the loss never goes away, and know you will find ways to live with it. Rest assured – at some point joy will show its face for just a second. Later, one day in the future, it linger for longer and longer moments.
My wish for you is that you always have a nugget of peace throughout your mourning. I am available if you need extra support to navigate through loss.