How to Deal with Grief This Autumn Season
Fall, or autumn, is a beautiful season of the year. The fall leaves, the cooler temperatures, and the overall feeling of fall bring a feeling of happiness, peace, and serenity. Similar to many people, fall is my favorite season. Fall has always been a favorite season for my family and me, yet this changed after my mother passed in 2016.
After my mom passed in October 2016, autumn wasn’t the same for me for many years. Now, six years later, I have rediscovered my love for fall, yet my love for fall will never be the same as it was.
Struggling with Feelings
Autumn is a beautiful season, yet there can be pain for many people during this time. The season of autumn is awe-inspiring with the brilliant colors and the crisp air, yet it can bring up bad memories for many of us.
If you are experiencing pain during this time, know that you are not alone. God is always with you, and there are many Christians throughout the world experiencing the same pain you are experiencing.
The pain, heartbreak, or depression you are feeling is completely valid, and there are brighter days in the future.
I struggle with negative feelings throughout the year, yet the holidays are even more difficult, such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
October is a difficult month because it is the month of my mother’s death, and Thanksgiving, as well as Christmas, are difficult because she isn’t here anymore to celebrate with us.
My mother had a way of making holidays extra special and full of love. Even though the holidays still return each year, my mom doesn’t. This truth hurts and causes pain in my heart. Maybe you feel this same way or have felt it in the past.
Going through the holidays without a loved one can be extremely difficult. Many individuals will tell you things will get better in time, yet sadly, this is not true. While people may tell us this to help us feel better, time cannot completely heal someone of their pain.
During the colder seasons, such as fall and winter, it is more common to experience seasonal depression; however, seasonal depression can occur during any season. This past year, I experienced seasonal depression during and after the Christmas holiday.
The depression I felt during this time was the darkest depression I have ever gone through in my entire life. I didn’t feel like getting out of bed, I lost complete interest in everything, and I wanted to end my life.
These feelings are feelings we normally don’t want to talk about, yet it is vital that we openly speak about these issues and struggles.
The Lord does not want us to keep these feelings inside us. He wants us to talk with Him about our feelings as well as we should be open to talking about our feelings to other trusted Christians and mentors.
Feelings associated with depression and seasonal depression may take a while to lessen if they ever do. Thankfully, my depression lifted in the spring, and I was more motivated to be involved and get back into my normal activities.
If you have ever dealt with depression or seasonal depression, know that it is common and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
God doesn’t promise to take us out of these dark times, yet He does promise to walk with us through our struggles. Through every hill and valley, God remains with us (Psalm 23).
Dealing with Feelings
When you start struggling with negative feelings, take them before God. The Apostle Peter urges us to bring our concerns before God, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
Negative thoughts have a way of drowning out every drop of positivity in our bones. We have to replace these negative thoughts and feelings with the brilliant light of Christ. Yes, it is hard, but it is possible.
However, it is unreasonable to believe that you will never struggle with depression again in your life. In addition to this past period of depression, I have suffered from various areas of depression ever since I was thirteen years old.
As nice as it would be to never have to struggle with depression again, it is unreasonable to believe you will always be happy throughout your life.
The culture we live in argues that we should always be happy and that everything is “rainbows and butterflies.” The truth is that the world is full of pain, sadness, and loss.
God never designed the world to be this way, yet after the Fall of Man, sin entered the world, and along with it, pain, sadness, and loss.
God will restore all things one day when He creates the New Heaven and New Earth. During this day, the Bible promises us that God will wipe every tear from our eyes and there will be no more crying, pain, or death (Revelation 21:1-4).
The feelings you are struggling with right now are completely valid. Feel those feelings and allow yourself to let them go. Often with extreme feelings of sadness, pain, grief, or depression, it can be beneficial to see a therapist.
I have been seeing a therapist for quite a while now, and she has helped me better work through my feelings, pain, and grief. In the same way, a therapist can help you work through these difficult emotions.
You don’t need to walk this road alone. God has placed trusted individuals in our lives to help us during these times. We should pray and ask God to help us in our struggles, yet the answer to our prayer might be found in speaking with a therapist.
There is nothing wrong or to be ashamed of for seeing a therapist. Therapists are great sources of help, encouragement, and compassion.
Growing up, I never had much compassion poured into my life, which has given me many problems in my adult life, yet my therapist has poured out much compassion and encouragement through our sessions.
Maybe you didn’t grow up with much compassion from your family either. I encourage you to try looking for a therapist to help you in your struggles. Therapists are trained professionals who can help you in your struggles.
Feelings in the Fall
While the fall season can be beautiful, there can be many emotions associated with this season. Some of us may have fond memories, some may have sad memories, and some may have a little of both.
No matter what you are feeling, make sure to give grace to yourself. Living through times of loved ones passing, relationships ending, or losing a job can all cause feelings of sadness, loneliness, and despair.
I encourage you not to lock yourself up in your room but to challenge yourself to rest in the love of Jesus. Our loved ones may come and go, yet God always stays by our side. He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
In addition to challenging yourself to rest in the love of Jesus, I encourage you to seek out a therapist to help you in your struggles. Therapists can do wonders to help with your mental and emotional health.
Never underestimate the help of a therapist. Often help from our loved ones is not enough to overcome bigger problems, such as depression or seasonal depression. It is during these times that God wants us to get professional help from mental health specialists, such as trained therapists.
For further reading:
How to Survive the First Year of Grieving a Loved One
What Should We Do When We Are Feeling Alone?
How to Help Those Who Are Grieving During the Holidays
What Should Christians Know about Grief Counseling?
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/vladans
*Editor’s Note: Anxiety disorder is a real illness and can feel very scary and isolating. If you or someone you know are struggling with anxiety, call or see your physician. If you or someone you know are in crisis and need immediate support, here are a few hotlines you can call or text for help: https://www.goodencenter.org/panic-and-anxiety-hotlines/, National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255.
Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.