Thursday, April 23, 2020

We're all grieving

What kind of emotions are hitting you as you shelter in place?

The world is changing so fast I have whiplash. It feels like the month of Forevuary (the days just melt into one another) and though it's temporary I know things will never be the same. There was BC (before coronavirus) and there will be AD (after the devastation [of Covid-19]). 

Everyone keeps saying things like, "When life goes back to normal," and "After all this is over," but I don't think there will be such thing. Normal is never coming back. Just like going to the airport was forever changed after 9/11. 

When sheltering in place is lifted, I will think twice about putting my teenage kid on the subway. I will wonder how many germs are circulating in the coffee shop where I'm writing. I will weigh the pros and cons of attending a concert, going to the farmers market, eating in a crowded restaurant, getting on a plane.    

This is hitting me and I am grieving.

But life cannot and should not go back to the way it was. This is a wake up call. This is our chance to make change. We need to do better because it hasn't been good for a lot of people way before coronavirus.     

Where do we go from here? The experts say grief happens in stages, with acceptance being the last step in the process. This is happening. I have to figure out how to proceed. "Acceptance, as you might imagine, is where the power lies. We find control in acceptance," says David Kessler, the world's foremost expert on grief, in an interview with Harvard Business Review.

I'm not quite there yet but I have faith I will get to a place of acceptance and forward movement. For today, I acknowledge that I'm sad and anxious and nostalgic for simpler days. 


That discomfort you're feeling is grief. (Harvard Business Review)