Navigating Your Grief This Summer

BY: Diane Snyder Cowan, MA, MT-BC, CHPCA

CATEGORY: Grief and Loss


Which description resonates with you this year? 

As we know, grief can be intense year-round. But often in summer, grieving families find it hard to manage their sadness while everyone else is out enjoying the warm weather and having fun. Many bereaved simply don’t feel like celebrating or participating in activities they used to enjoy without their deceased loved one.  

Grief can be hard work. Acknowledge this and give yourself permission to grieve. Each person's style of grieving is unique. Please pay attention to what your individual body and soul needs.

Here are few ideas for navigating your grief this summer:

1.    Go outside. The vitamin D from the sunshine can lift your mood and help reduce your stress.

2.    Create a remembrance garden as a tribute to your deceased loved one. This can be done individually or by the whole family. The garden can become a quiet, relaxing retreat for reflection and remembering.

3.    Do something you previously enjoyed like bike riding or swimming. If it feels good, continue to enjoy it. If not, put it on hold for a while and try something new. Have you tried pickle ball?  

4.    Dedicate the day to your loved one’s favorite activity or interest. If you used to frequent a picnic spot, perhaps you can plan an outing with that intention and purpose. You can invite family and friends.

5.    Children may want to include some memories of their special person who died in their summer fun. They can draw chalk pictures outside of special times they had or go for a walk and collect items in nature that their person would have liked. They can also blow bubbles and send wishes to their loved one as the bubbles float away.   

Sometimes, being with others who have experienced a death is helpful. We have a variety of grief support groups and a grief camp to meet this need. Please see our support groups pages for more information.

While our loved ones are no longer physically present, they will always remain in our hearts.  We continue to be here with comfort, hope and healing. Visit Western Reserve Grief Services for more information.

We Can Help

Speak with the referral team by contacting us seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Any first visit and admission can be made the first day.

Northern Ohio's Hospice of Choice

More than 1,000 Hospice of the Western Reserve employees and 3,000 volunteers live and work side-by-side in the same neighborhoods with our patients and families. We are privileged to have cared for more than 100,000 Northern Ohioans since our inception.