When Covid-19 started to wave through the United States and I first learned of places shutting down the first thing that crossed my mind were those in recovery and fighting against addiction. Then my mind when to those in domestic violent situations, child abuse and then to those living with anxiety. My very thought was home is not always the safest place to be and this definitely sat in my heart and still does today. Grief felt quite heavy internally and I also noticed it externally as well.
To the synchronicity of the world it seemed too fitting that grief felt like my new home wherever I went as I was moving from Michigan to Texas. Wherever I went grief was there, hotels, gas stations, fast food, rest stops…etc. Grief became my home and like so many others I’m sure felt this way too. We were living in a place of grief. It seemed a comfort of a hug was no longer allowed, I noticed people no longer smiled at one another and God forbid I said “good morning” in a chipper voice the looks I received back made me question myself asking myself how dare I come across that way…and then the other thought crossed my mind…. we are all grieving and my goodness have we lost our joy during this state of global grief too?
Living in a constant state of grief doesn’t feel comfortable and doesn’t feel safe without joy and connection too.
What do I mean by that?
I don't want to assume we are all on the same page here especially because in the past I have had people share with me that they have never experienced grief before because they hadn't ever been to a funeral. SO to clear the air on what grief is identified here in this blog it’s anything that has brought deep sorrow into your life. I’m going to reference two people you may be familiar with Kubler-Ross and Tian Dayton as they are known for their work in grief. If you are not familiar with them here are their stages of grief
Yearning and Searching
Disorganization, Anger and Despair
Reorganization and Integration
Renewed Commitment to Life
Elisabeth Kubler Ross:
While they are listed in an order if this is your first time seeing the stages of grief this does not mean this is the order grief is experienced. The purpose is only to identify what one may be experiencing. You may experience none of these stages and multiple at the same time. Also, take Kubler Ross’s stage of “acceptance.” Someone may feel sadness and anger at times too after they once felt the stage of acceptance.
What I’m referring to is we are a grieving culture. We all grieve differently and we also can’t necessarily fall back into some of our traditional coping methods we are use to relying on. This may be an additional component to grief perhaps unlike other situations in our past.
Global grief felt like a new home, one unfamiliar and one we are all trying to navigate appropriately. But my greatest concern is mental health that this pandemic has not only impacted our social and physical ways of being but living in a constant state of grief has robbed us of joy and laughter too.
If we can learn to live more comfortably with grief then we can also learn how to live a more comfortable life in general.
Grief isn’t going anywhere it will always show up like a long lost friend knocking on your door (also at some of the most inconvenient and unexpected times). So greet it as so, embrace it and spend some time together. Right now grief may feel like an over welcomed guest and forcing us outside of our comfort zones ready to show it the door. Perhaps it is also forcing us to live more comfortably with grief so also notice when grief knocks it also brings connection and joy too. We can focus so hard on the grief we forget to also see connection and joy.