Right now, the world is filled with a tremendous amount of fear and uncertainty, and everyone is dealing with it differently. As we all remain trapped indoors under quarantines that have been instituted around the globe, one only needs to look to social media to see that we as a society are feeling a lot. Everywhere, people are reminiscing over the things that they miss, what they will never take for granted again, and the many ways that life has changed. Even the biggest couch-dwellers among us are feeling the strain of being stuck inside, and the change is affecting all of us differently. Though most people are identifying fear, sorrow, and anger, few are really recognizing it for what it is: grief.
Grief is a feeling that is commonly associated with loss. For most of us, Coronavirus has come with tremendous loss. We have lost our offices and coworkers. Some people are losing their jobs. Others are losing relatives and loved ones. Loss is covering a wide spectrum right now. Simple things like our morning coffee or even just the freedom to run to the store and grab a tub of ice cream, even. It is hitting all of us hard, and we are all mourning those losses in our own way.
How Acknowledging Grief Helps
More often than not, when we feel an incredibly powerful emotion, it is a mask for an underlying and more complex thought. You aren’t sad that you can’t eat brunch with friends. You’re sad because your friends are your support network and you miss them. It is this loss, this grief, that is making all of us feel empty or angry even though we are safe, healthy, and get to wear pajamas every day. It is to be expected, and it is healthy. When we acknowledge grief for what it is, it frees the mind. It isn’t simply clouded by emotions that we can’t quite understand. Instead, it allows us to truly reflect on the important pillars of our lives that have been fundamentally changed for the worse, whether it is temporary or not. Acknowledge grief is the only way that we can begin to move past it.
Grappling With Grief
Grieving is something that is specific to the individual, which can be a bit maddening for most of us. There is no right or wrong way to combat it, and we need to combat it in order to move on. The first step will always be to acknowledge your grief and allow yourself to mourn. Just because your loved ones are safe while other people are grappling with loss, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t entitled to your own grieving. Grief is not a competition. It affects all of us for different reasons. Allow yourself to feel it and ask yourself what you can do in the meantime to feel better and prepare for the future.
Grief is a complex and difficult emotion, and right now society is filled with it. This isn’t the first time that grief has wracked the globe, and it won’t be the last. For now, it is important to be kind to yourself, be kind to others, and do what you need to do in order to keep moving forward.