The grieving process is natural. Similar to the cycles of the seasons or the ebb and flood of the tides…it is not linear and straightforward, but it comes and goes. At times we may feel good about life…inspired, energized and in our passion. At others we may feel sad, fatigued and depressed. Each of these seasons requires something different from us.
For example, if we are grieving, we may need to draw our energy inward and spend more time resting and focusing on self care. We may have less energy to give and create. Like the winter season, this is a good time to restore our energy for when the spring arrives, allowing the seeds of new life to germinate in the dark soil.

A couple of weeks before Christmas I found myself feeling blue, heavy-hearted and moody. I was surprised to tune into my body and find hidden grief, sitting under the surface, waiting to be acknowledged. The previous month, I had felt energized and inspired about my business and life, so when grief surfaced, I was resistant at first. There is too much to do to prepare for Christmas. I don’t have time to be sad. Plus, who wants to be sad when there are celebrations and parties to attend? I wanted to ignore and dismiss my grief but ultimately the heaviness in my heart persisted, causing me to feel tired and fatigued.

Creating room for my grief, I did a stream of consciousness writing exercise starting with, “What I am most sad about is…” This helped my grief to surface and flow. What I discovered was that I was most sad about not having my own family. All of the Christmas cards with pictures of families and kids triggered my on-going grief about not having my own children. It was the “season” for my grief to surface, to be honored and acknowledged. As I did, I began to feel lighter, like a burdened had been lifted. With my energy restored, I was able to be fully present with friends and family at the celebrations I attended.

The week after Christmas, my dog, Rennie, my “baby,” injured herself and my grief surfaced again. She is an elderly dog and had already torn the ACL in her left knee a couple years ago. Now, with a torn ACL in her right knee and severe hip dysplagia, she is barely able to walk. Ironically, the same thing happened last year…I was feeling sad about not having a family shortly before Christmas and Rennie injured her self and was unable to walk. This year was different though. Along with intense feelings of grief, I was also able to experience deep joy. My emotions were more fluid.

Coming out of this season of grief my passion and energy for life has surfaced once again. As I let go of my resistance to the process and create room for what IS I feel more at peace with my life. Grief has become a companion along my journey, like a friend, creating a deeper well of love and compassion within me and as a result, deeper connections with others. I am grateful for ALL that IS – even my grief.

Suggested Journaling Exercise:

What is your relationship with grief? Is it like a close friend you create room for and spend time with? Do you acknowledge the gifts that it offers? Or, do you deny it and brush it off? If you are someone who tends to ignore or resist your grief, take time to journal and use the prompt, “What I feel most sad about it…” If grief surfaces, allow it to flow and notice how you feel. Repeat this exercise when you feel tired, sad, depressed or irritable. Allowing your grief to be expressed will lighten your mood and give you more energy for your life.

Author's Bio: 

Karen Mehringer, MA is the author of Sail Into Your Dreams: 8 Steps to Living a More Purposeful Life, a speaker, psychotherapist and grief counselor. She offers powerful solutions for healing grief and living fully through private sessions and group events. If you frequently find yourself feeling tired, depressed and stuck in your life, you may be experiencing unresolved grief. If you are ready to experience more joy, vitality and purpose in your life, call or e-mail Karen today to schedule a FREE 30-minute phone consultation to determine if her services are a good fit for you at (831) 359-2441 or For more useful information about this topic and to receive a FREE report on How to Heal Your Grief and Move on with Your Life, go to: