COVID 19 – Grieving for the Way things Were, Embracing the Way things Will Be.
“How great it is when we come to know that times of disappointment can be followed by joy.” -Fred Rogers
Today is Saturday, April 4th, 2020. The sun is shining bright, the air is brisk, the birds are singing, and the ice has melted away. Spring is definitely in the air.
Yet, the world is in chaos. Businesses have shuttered their windows. We no longer see friends sharing in an embrace. Our schools have shut their doors. What should be a busy time for Spring Break travel and the highly anticipated opening of restaurant patios have all but gone silent. “Social Distancing” and “Shelter in Place” have become familiar phrases. We are truly living in unprecedented times.
We turn on the news, scroll through social media, and are bombarded with the unfathomable message that “it is going to get worse before it gets better.”
Read that again; it is going to get worse before it gets better.
I had a conversation with a dear friend of mine last week, and she said something that I’ve been replaying over and over again in my head, “This is hard and I’m struggling. I’m not necessarily grieving for the world as it is, but life will change. It won’t ever be the same, and I’m already grieving for the world as it was and will never be again.”
So, dear readers, I’m not writing this post to further give into the sadness and despair that surely is encompassing every corner of the globe. I’m also not trying to be insensitive to the fact that there is a very real and very deadly virus that is the cause of everything happening, nor am I going to comment on the many beliefs that this whole thing is being “overplayed” and is “nothing but a conspiracy.”
No, not today.
Today I want to encourage all of you to focus on the undeniable fact that IT WILL END. IT WILL GET BETTER. I believe with every fiber of my being that Fred Rodgers’ wise words will ring true. I also believe that my friend’s grief, and the grief of so many others, can be reshaped to a sense of overwhelming hope.
Yes, the world WILL most likely never be the same. The way we do business, the way we travel, the way we educate, the way we interact, will all undoubtedly change.
But I believe this change will be for good.
Even now, despite of the hardships we are all facing, love, faith and compassion have become ever prevalent. I see an abundance of beautiful movements on social media that have been created to inspire hope. Food, clothing, and cleaning product donations are popping up in random front yards with encouraging notes, “What’s ours is yours” and “Please help yourselves, we are in this together.” Multiple non-profits are being set up to help those who are facing a loss of income. Emergency and medical workers are receiving much deserved free child care. Friends are reaching out to friends to simply “check in” in hopes of providing a simple smile or a much-needed laugh… These actions are all SO incredible and most likely never would have been at the forefront had this pandemic not become reality.
So, my friends, let’s move forward with the knowledge that we are better together. A hug will have new meaning. A friend’s laughter will have a sweeter sound. All of the small, insignificant details of our lives, buying toilet paper, going out to dinner, taking the kids on a play date will never be taken for granted again, at least that is the hope, right?
Let’s not focus on what has been, but on how this grave time will reshape humanity. When we approach the bad times with love in our eyes and hope in our hearts, the end game will be a world changed, for the better. I, for one, cannot wait to see that world.
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Do you have a grief story to share? I’d love to hear about it! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org