The Effects of Daylight Savings

Daylight Savings began on Sunday, March 10. And although an hour was lost, daylight savings usually marks the very beginning of longer days, warmer climates, and a relief from the cold weather blues.   After the loss of a loved one, there seems to be an emotional cold, dark winter. During those winter months, people tend to isolate from others, they usually are less active, and depression can be prevalent. Once the initial shock of losing someone has faded, the sadness and anger can be pervasive and overwhelming, leaving many people feeling lost and misunderstood. So many ask, “How much longer will I feel this way?”

But after a long, dark winter, spring is the rebirth of so many beautiful and meaningful things. Tulips emerge from the ground, trees begin to bud and the air changes. The grief in our lives has seasons.  After a long, dark time, it would be hopeful to have some relief. As difficult as it may be, it may seem appropriate to reach out to an old friend, join a grief support group, or try an activity. This is rebirth and adaptation that transpires out of grief.

Many people have these feelings of joy or relief, but then feel guilty for having a good moment. The tendency is to hold on the sadness and not want to let go. The sadness seems to connect you to your lost loved one.  It’s normal to hold on with a tight grip. It’s important to know that with time and processing through your grief, moments of laughter and new experiences can be expected, but it never negates the sorrow and love for which was lost. The bereaved is different and will never be the same, because the loss was significant. Perspectives and priorities change after the loss of a loved one. But as the bereaved becomes more malleable, they also find new and hopeful ventures to pursue.

If the depression persists, it’s important to recognize when professional intervention is necessary.  Counselors can normalize behaviors and emotions, but can also guide one though the grief journey. The Center for Hope and Healing has licensed counselors to help the bereaved process emotions and validate the loss. Grief groups can also be a valuable resource. The groups contain people that have had similar emotions and experiences. Having like-minded people around can combat feelings of isolation and loneliness.

So as you move away from the darkness, embrace the new moments of laughter and invite a new self to emerge. Begin to sow seeds of gratefulness and joy for surviving the emotionally desolate winter. This is a time of rebirth, of reinventing one’s self. And just as baby birds fly the nest, you will also fly into new encounters and experiences.


Kristen Ernst, LPC
Manager of Community Outreach, Grief Support and Center for Hope & Healing