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Why the Winter Months Can Heighten Grief January 26, 2023

Person in grief on white couch

The winter months can wear on us all. When you are grieving during this time of the year, it can add to your sadness and pain. What is it about the winter that weighs so heavily upon our psyche? Why is grieving during the cold weather season so challenging?

There Are Shorter Days

Shorter days mean less sunlight, and studies show that natural light deprivation can have a negative impact on not only our attitude but also our energy. This makes it just that much more difficult to battle grief during the winter months. 

Here in Ohio and Northern Kentucky, those days are often cloudy from November through March, making the season that much darker. When we associate grief with these short, dark days that lack sunshine, it can make grief seem to be endless. It is not.

Cold Weather Can Contribute to Isolation

Many who experience grief battle with empty feelings and loneliness. This often leads to isolation and withdrawal from family and friends. With the bitter cold winters in the Midwest, it can make the thought of isolation more appealing. We may think we find comfort in being alone, but rather, this is when surrounding yourself with loved ones is most healing.

Lack of Fresh Air

Cold, dark, short days can lead to us spending most of our time indoors, which means a lack of fresh air. Think about it. One of the reasons many love going to the beach or the mountains is the fresh air. It refreshes and rejuvenates us. That is severely lacking through the winter, and we need to take every opportunity to enjoy the opportunities we are presented with.

Holidays Can Trigger Sadness

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year can have sad feelings associated with them. We can even long for the joyful ones we feel we may never experience again. It doesn’t help that so many holiday songs are slow and sad. It can help to select only contemporary, upbeat Christmas songs as your soundtrack for the holidays.

It Is “Sickness Season”

One of the reasons winter adds to grief is that it is a season of stress and illness. Historically, it is cold and flu season and even nastier illnesses have contributed in recent years. Grieving and being ill with a cold or the flu is almost unfair. That is why taking care of yourself when you lose a loved one in the winter is so important.

Yes, there are logical reasons why grieving during the winter is more difficult. It is not just the imagination. If you or a loved one are grieving this season, give yourself a break. Realizing it IS more of a challenge and understanding that, just like the cold, dark, short days…this will pass too.

If your family currently doesn’t have a favored funeral director in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area, we would be proud to serve in that role. We’ve been helping families through the most difficult times for over 125 years. Have questions? Need to talk? Looking for guidance? Reach out to us at Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes and Crematory.

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