I’ve talked a little bit this week about how grief goes in cycles. And I think, if something is cyclical then it lends itself to seasons. There are seasons to our grief, times when things are more acute; when the pain is more sharp. But then, there will be seasons where grief is smoother and the edges less jagged.
Just as there are our own personal seasons to grief, there are seasons elsewhere in the world. The natural seasons outside help us to remember that things are ever moving, that fresh hope and life can come out of the most barren of situations. The church has seasons too, and as I have learnt more about the church’s year, I have fallen in love with the liturgical seasons and how they help us navigate the seasons of our own lives.
It’s the reason that I am choosing to complete this particular writing project during lent, because that is a season of penitence and solemnity. Lent lends itself to dwelling a little deeper on the shadows of grief. Exploring those shadows and how the seasons of grief and how they make us feel.
Symbols can do the same thing, helping us to remember an aspect of our grief. I have two tattoos that are symbols that draw me back to remembering. The first tattoo that I ever got, on my wrist; and the last one that I got, on my foot. One is the Chinese symbol for Mother, and the other is a Celtic mother and child knot. I like that not everyone will understand what they are and what they mean- but that they are symbols for me, reminding me of seasons I have been in, and may be in again.