Tuesday, March 24, 2009



Function: Noun

Date: before 12th century

  1. a source of supply ; especially : a source of water issuing from the ground b: an ultimate source especially of action or motion
  2. 2. a time or season of growth or development ; specifically : the season between winter and summer comprising in the northern hemisphere usually the months of March, April, and May or as reckoned astronomically extending from the March equinox to the June solstice

When I look out across the back lawn I see mostly brown grass, but a closer look shows there are sprigs of green mixed in. Even though the calendar says it is officially spring, when the weather is still cold enough to wear a coat and the grass looks dead it is hard to trust that spring is here. Spring has never been my favorite season, but since I began doing bereavement work for hospice a couple years ago, I have a new appreciation for spring. Early spring holds tangible reminders that there is life after death and hope in the midst of despair. Even though the grass is still nearly all brown, there is just enough green to cause me to hope. It reminds me that even though the grass has looked dead for many months it will soon be lush and green.

For many people, grief feels like the dead of winter – it makes people want to draw in. Many people feel life can’t possibly go on after a devastating loss, but for most of them that raw cold of winter gives way to warmer breezes, and they are able to begin to see the possibilities life still holds for them. When I see the tangible signs of spring, I am hopeful on behalf of all the people I know who are living with loss – I am hopeful that soon they will see the signs of spring for themselves and feel hopefulness welling up inside their own hearts.

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