The Uncertainty of Life
Collectively Grieving What Was
Your life is probably pretty sad, messy and filled with grief right now. You are missing your loved one who died, and you are missing a way of life that preceded this pandemic we find ourselves in the middle of.
I’m guessing you found your way to this blog because you are mourning the loss of a loved one. But you are also saddled with the collective grief we are all experiencing as we navigate this global pandemic.
You are just trying to survive life as you knew it with your loved one and life as you knew it in your community. The worse loss right now is your loss and that I acknowledge you for.
I have grieved the death of my mother, my husband and numerous relatives. I still will find myself grieving the life I used to have with my husband especially now that I am socially isolated and I live alone.
Grief is what it means to be human and grief is the death of anything. Death of a job, financial security, food insecurity, and more.
There are so many losses we are experiencing right now. I think we are all grieving a loss of normalcy, of physical connection, of our routines, and physical touch, gathering for meals & church.
Our children are experiencing loss of not going to school, gathering with friends, going to their graduation or spring prom.
As we experience collective grief – the world we knew is gone forever. Remember 911 and what the airports were like before and after 911 traveling was never the same?
We will come out the other side, there will be things we will talk about that happened before Covid19 that are no longer inexistence.
There is uncertainty in life and always will be but honoring your individual grief journey is bearing witness to the grief others are experiencing during this time is quite profound.
Bearing Witness to Grief
Can we bear witness to others’ grief right now? I think we can and have, we help each other through grief. We’ve all seen the pictures on TV of people singing from their window sills, praying for health care workers, social distancing while asking your neighbors what they need and how we can help. The hashtag #inthistogether is posted everywhere on social media and TV which does bear witness to each other.
We have to feel the grief and pain of our losses if we want to heal, that means going through it rather than denying it or our feelings.
The Isolation Grief Causes
I have worked with the bereaved for many years and one thing I know for sure is that at some point most people grieving the loss of a loved one feel alone. While we are isolated at home we don’t have the support of grief groups, our church or our family. We feel isolated in our grief and loneliness can be excruciating. When that occurs, reach out to a trusted person for a supportive ear, let someone know how you are feeling and that you need to talk.
Finding Meaningful Moments
Recently I heard author and speaker Brene Brown say, “We’re busy chasing extraordinary moments, but can we find simple, meaningful moments? Can we live in this single moment to the next moment and find meaning?”
I have done this myself. I have a small group of friends who gather for a virtual happy hour every Friday for the past three weeks. We check-in and ask one another how our weeks been, how we are feeling and then open the floor to anything anyone wants to discuss. These conversations have been very meaningful.
You can create meaningful moments even in a pandemic.
Accepting and Meaning
Acceptance…there is no end of grief but there is a way to find meaning according to grief specialist David Kessler.
Meaning doesn’t take away the pain but gives us a different perspective.
The meaning lies in what we do with the grief, not meaning in the death itself. The person’s death and life mattered and therefore has meaning.
Often we are asked to find gratitude and that will offer meaning, but there is not gratitude in grief especially early on. In time as you experience your grief, gratitude may appear.
You may find gratitude for your life or that you had a loving husband for as long as you were together or that your Dad was your father in this lifetime.
The uncertainly of life is all around us, hearts are broken, and we may feel fragile. I think finding meaning one day at a time is the hopeful thing to do. There will be glimmers of light in our darkest moments, smiles and laughter will return and I pray that broken hearts will mend.
How do you find meaning, leave your comment below?