Well, we’re officially one year into this pandemic and I wanted to share some thoughts about grief amidst collective stress. I wonder if some of you are feeling this way? Sometimes, the best that I can offer is a space for you to feel validated in your feelings and to have your journey seen.
It’s been mentioned before, but we are experiencing compounding stress right now as a society. Amidst a pandemic, political tensions, a need to address systemic racism, and waves of grief due to the autonomy quarantine steals, life continues to march on in large and small ways.
The other day, I listened as a family walked through the messy, tumultuous path of loss. My client and her family are losing a loved one at an age that seems offensive, unforeseen and completely unfair given all of the other collective stressors they’re facing right now. And yet, it’s happening – this beautiful woman is slipping away. It’s not a death related to COVID – but how can we even say that anymore?
I know this is the story for many of you – unforeseen loss during a time of isolation. Divorce, death, friends moving away, careers, children’s educational paths, or losses of autonomy, security and togetherness. I know that the world keeps spinning despite the grief and despair that so many of you are experiencing.
I believe it’s toxic to ignore this pain or to brush past it. To remind people that there are brighter days ahead, or a light at the end of the tunnel, or that time will heal these pains feels completely minimizing. Please, allow me to offer some advice.
If this is you, I see you. And if this is your friend, your family member, your colleague, or your neighbor, know this: all you have to do is show up for them and sit in their grief beside them. You don’t have to fix it, fade it away, solve it or reassure them of better days to come. Acknowledgement heals. Never underestimate how your sheer presence heals someone in small but significant ways.
Take a deep breath. I want you to know that you and people you love can endure hardship. So, reach out to someone. Remind them of your love, offer a coffee, a meal, a hug or an ear. And if someone reaches out to you, allow them in your space. Accept help. See it in the love, the coffee, the meal and the hug. We are all enduring hardship and we can do so much more in the love and company of people who do not shy away from pain, but step in beside us with a gentle hand on our backs.
Thinking of all of you with compassion,
PS – Please join my newest Facebook group, Parenting with Intention! It’s an amazing community of supportive parents full of love, ideas, and honesty.