The Grieving Process
The obvious truth is that I haven’t written a post since over a month ago, when we were at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. While I wish I had been able to do so, reflecting on the time, I believe the process I engaged in was necessary. I’ll candidly admit that I was not in a good place after my last post. I got down in the dumps, I felt completely overwhelmed, couldn’t sleep most nights, and felt awful as a result. Worst of all, I also stopped meditating. I was so afraid to sit quietly and allow my rampaging thoughts and my fears to have the floor to vent their unbridled frustrations. I was already feeling overwhelmed by them on a day-to-day, moment-to-moment basis and my fear was that if I allowed them to take center stage that I would actually end up worse than before rather than better.
Perhaps if I had actually attempted to do so I would have found what I found later, which was that the meditation can help work through it; however, I do trust my instinct that I was not ready for it yet. And that’s okay.
We’re in an unprecedented situation with so many unique stressors flying at us constantly, and worst of all is that one of our most natural tools for dealing with this is strictly denied us (well, as long as you follow the actual rules and guidance of the health experts at least, which we very much do): Friends. Family. Connection.
The primary advice we have is to stay at home, minimize interactions, and essentially isolate ourselves. No matter how introverted you are, the fact remains that human beings are social creatures. Without everything from the moments when you’re walking by strangers on the street, or conducting a transaction with a coffee shop barista to hanging out with friends or attending a family holiday gathering, our psyche becomes quickly unsettled, and downright disturbed. Even the most introverted among us are likely feeling the unintended sting of this isolation, which in turns causes despondency.
One thing I keep saying as I discuss the situation with people (virtually of course), is how grateful I am that this happened at this particular time in history and at our current level of technology. If this had happened when I was a kid, I don’t know how the world would have handled it. The availability of high speed internet, viable video chat options, and other online tools are at least the consolation prize of this pandemic. It’s not the same as getting together for an extended family get-together, but at least there is some method for maintaining connection, for some professional collaborations to continue, and for kids to continue some semblance of learning.
To be sure, this is not an ideal situation. While I am able to continue working from home, Michael’s business has been shut down since mid-March, with a reopening date uncertain, and with what new restrictions we have no clue. Many people are in this situation – their jobs cannot be done virtually or at a safe social distance. However, the ability to connect with those outside your home in some measure, I believe will ultimately be the saving grace for this time. Also, it might very well help us reshape our perspectives and relationships with those around us when are finally all able to truly resume some semblance of “normal life.”
I hope you and yours are staying safe, staying healthy, and staying as connected as we are able during these crazy times.