Day 355: Winter/Spring Center for Transforming Grief

26 Mar

Black-Bottom Chocolate Pie

The name “Winter/Spring” symbolizes the seasons of life and death, particularly the transition from the darkness of winter to the reawakening, lightness, and hopefulness of spring (taken from their website).   The mission of Winter/Spring is to support grieving children, teens, and adults.  If know about the not-for-profit, Winter/Spring, chances are that you have experienced a significant loss in your life.

It was almost twenty years ago that I found myself in need of a place like Winter/Spring.  I was the mother of two small children and in a ten week period, I lost my sister, my uncle, and my brother-in-law.  It was an incredibly difficult time and I found myself crying continuously.  I knew I had to do something to get help because my children were always asking me, “What’s wrong?” and I couldn’t even explain it.

My husband discovered that the local hospital had a grief group starting up and encouraged me to attend.  At first I thought it would be hard to do, but I soon found out that it was exactly what I needed.  The meeting was lead by a married couple who had lost their daughter in a biking accident.  When I heard their story, and saw that they had survived that loss, I knew that I would also survive.

Each week, one by one, the members of the group would tell their stories of loss.  I found myself crying at each and every one and found that at the end of the meeting, I was exhausted and all cried out. I wouldn’t even feel like crying again until the next meeting.

One of the interesting things that happened during that time involved an older woman whose husband had died.  As she told her story she did not cry… and when she saw me crying, she looked at me with a look that I thought translated as, “Buckle up kid, get a hold of yourself.”  At our last meeting, she approached me.  I thought she was going to chastise me, and instead she said, “I am so envious of how easily you cry.  I am still so angry at my husband for dying, that I haven’t shed a single tear.”  What I had seen as judgement, was instead a longing to express her pain.

Today I wanted to make a special pie for the people at Winter/Spring and so I researched and found this recipe for Black-Bottom Pie on Epicurious.   I want to recognize all of the people who work at Winter Spring for the valuable work that they do. The services that they offer are very important and very much appreciated.  And if you are living with grief, I urge you to give them a call.  There is help waiting.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahlil Gibran

While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil. ~John Taylor

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2 Responses to “Day 355: Winter/Spring Center for Transforming Grief”

  1. Danese Grandfield March 28, 2012 at 3:16 PM #

    Karen,
    This was a beautiful, heartfelt, post. Thank you for sharing!
    Blessings,
    Danese

  2. Julie Lockhart April 3, 2012 at 1:53 PM #

    Karen,

    The pie was delicious. Our office manager, Jenna, was the first to have a piece. Then I took it to our board meeting where it was devoured. YUM! I love the story you tell about your own grief experience and the group process. WinterSpring is going to launch a new website and social media platform in May and I would love to use this blog in our new blog, with your permission. I’ll be in touch at some point in the late Spring. Thanks for what you have spent the last year doing! And for including us on your list.

    Julie Lockhart, Executive Director, WInterSpring

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