As we started this week, I was left thinking about where we were this time last year and the unexpected events that occurred over the past 12 months. These thoughts prompted me to talk about loss and grief – experiences with which we can all relate.
Let’s start with loss since most people associate loss with that of a relationship: loss of a spouse, partner, parent, grandparent, brother or sister, caregiver, boyfriend or girlfriend, cousin, or friend. Loss of relationship may also mean the loss of a pet.
Yet, it’s really important to think of loss in much broader terms. Loss can also include the loss of less tangible aspects of life, like health, mobility, employment, finances, financial status, home, safety, prestige, reputation, status, or opportunity.
The experiences evolving out of COVID-19 and all the related influences (e.g., economic downturn, climate and political instability, social issues) all involved some measure of loss. This also includes future events that went unrealized.
Loss also often involves facing what your childhood was (or was not) or even what your adulthood is (or is not) – and recognizing the difference between what you needed, wanted, and dreamed of and what really occurred.
Dealing with this gap and the losses noted above all involve grief. Grief may not surface as only one single 90-second wave. It may come as waves of waves.
Maybe you are fearful one moment, okay for a while, and then unexpectedly and spontaneously moved to tears again. As before, ride the waves.
Over time, they will decrease in frequency and intensity, and they will always subside. Always.
As you navigate this one-year marker from when the world was asked to shelter in place, know that I want to be here for you, and to teach and provide the tools necessary to feel and understand grief.
Grief can be categorized in many different ways, and in subsequent blog posts I will be addressing many ideas about grief and what I also identify as “disguised grief”.
If you are interested in a sneak peek please check out my second Tedx Talk using this link.