In this time of Covid, in this time of so many deaths, we are grieving. Grieving the death to our way of living, death in our loss of normal activities, death in our loss of physical, social contact with friends and families, for many, the death of their job, and the most commonly known death—physical life.
For all of these losses we grieve. We grieve the same way whether the loss is a job, an activity or a friend or relative’s death.
Grief is a whole bunch of emotions rolled into one package we call grief. Grieving can be invisible. We can carry it around in our hearts and minds and not even know it is there UNTIL it pops out in tears, in anger, in depression, in physical illness.
When someone we know or are close to dies we expect to grieve. We recognize our sadness but often we don’t recognize our impulsiveness to clean the house, or our frustration with the grocery clerk or the grandkids, or our honking and irritation with the driver in front of us as grief. But it is. Our “nerves” are on edge. We are out of balance. All is not right with our world.
Grief tests our beliefs. It tests our patience. It tests our character.
For those whose physical death of someone close is their grief I say there are no words or actions that anyone can say to ease the feeling of loss or pain you are experiencing. Only time will ease the pain. Slowly, ever so slowly, time steps in and creates a gap in the continuous stream of the feeling of loss. The emptiness is always there. It is just that we don’t feel it on a continual basis as we do when our grief begins.
As I write this I wonder if the same isn’t true for all forms of grieving, no matter the kind of loss. Time becomes the healer. No, not healer, because we never heal from grief. We learn to live with it.
Hopefully we will learn to live with the grief of 2020—so many losses, so many deaths, deaths of all kinds.
I wrote a booklet called My Friend, I Care that explains the normal grieving pattern. It is a guide and support written for those grieving from a physical death but so much of it applies to all the kinds of grief.
Maybe it can be a help now, in this time of overwhelming losses that we, as a country, are experiencing.
For Hospices and End of Life Professionals who provide bereavement support during this time of restricted personal contact, sending My Friend, I Care as a sympathy card is of even more importance. More than just a card, it is an educational tool to be read and reread, a hands on, when I hurt, companion to grief.