It's Not Always Sunny in Summertime
Picture it. The sky is a calm cerulean blue, the sun is shining warm on the lush green grass, the birds are chirping from the full trees, and a soft wind rattles the leaves. Somewhere a few lawns over, a mower is running. In the backyard, family and friends are gathering for a 4th of July cookout with coolers of beverages and the sweet scent of barbeque wafting through the opened window. But you’re standing inside, wishing you were in the confines of your own room with the blinds shut, because everyone else is having fun but you don’t feel much like laughing.
Grief acts like a storm cloud, blocking out the light of anything remotely pleasant, and threatening to pour at any given moment. It’s hard to feel happy with that sort of thing hanging over your head.
But it’s okay for you to feel different than others. We often have this idea that we should feel a certain way at a certain time, and if we don’t, we’re doing something wrong. Say everyone else is having fun at the cookout and playing cornhole, but you can’t bring yourself to laugh when Uncle Roger chucks the bag of corn clear over the fence. It’s okay. You’re struggling with something much bigger than cornhole, here.
If you’re facing grief in the summertime, it’s okay that you might be laughing less, smiling less, and enjoying things a lot less than you did in previous summers. Try to remember that you’re feelings are valid and understandable. And cut yourself some slack! You’re doing what you can.
If summertime reminds you of a loss from a previous summer, acknowledge it, but don’t ruminate. Nostalgia tends to glamorize the past and make the present seem much worse than the “good old days.” Try to ride the waves of your memory, but remember that healing is in the present tense, and at some point you’ll want to find your way back to the shore.
So enjoy what you can, but don’t feel bad if it’s not very much. Summer is just another season, anyway—the sun comes out in the winter, too.