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Seasonal Swings

Seasonal Swings

This week, Nebraska
weather is wrecking havoc on our gardens, our spring soccer, and most notably, our
moods.  Our weather forecast shows a 30
degree swing from snow to sunshine in the span of 3 days and it makes us
crazy.  Casual conversations in elevators
or status updates on Facebook daily include mention of the weather.  Mostly people are aching for spring.  We are “supposed” to be having warmer
weather, no more snow, and plenty of balmy sunshine.  Instead, every week there has been a little
bit of snow cover and chilly days.

It makes us crabby because we like the supposed
predictability of the seasons.  We like
being able to count on the consistency and when the seasons do not arrive in a
neat package like we expect, we get bent out of shape.  We like knowing that winter will be over,
that spring will come and then give birth to summer only to fall into autumn
again and so forth.  We make our plans
around the seasons. We have season-specific delights each year.  We look forward to and detest, all at the
same time, little bits of every season.

As human beings we crave the routine of our seasons, just as
much as we crave the sunshine peeking out from behind the rainclouds.  When going through divorce, or any season of
grief, we often think it is or should be a straight, predictable line.  We have thoughts that we “should be” feeling
one way or the other.  Friends and
confidants may indirectly fuel these thoughts with their well-intentioned “you
should be” statements.

But then one day, far removed from the “should be” feeling
line you have a really great day or you have a day where you find yourself
tear-filled and sad about the change in your personal season, with no warning
and with the predictability – yes, of the change in weather.  Then we feel guilty or stupid.  Why am I feeling happy in the middle of a
divorce?  Why do I feel sad about the
ending of this relationship months after it is over?  And it is as useful as explaining snow in
April.  It just happens that way.

I have learned from my own grappling with grief, and also in
supporting clients over the years going through it – that there is no “right”
way.  That with every person and every
situation, grief presents differently. 
And just like we know the weather cannot actually be relied upon and yet
we still insist that it must be a certain temperature in April, we carry the
same insistence that we grieve the right way. 
We become crabby and confused when it doesn’t pan out the way we
expected.  I find it useful to have a
better understanding of why I feel put out when things do not go as
expected.  I appreciate seeing that some
things will just be random – much like tears and raindrops.

Angela Dunne