Go Ahead and Grieve!

Much has been written about grief and its hold on our emotions, sometimes on our entire lives.

I wanted to write my own thoughts on that powerful hold, along with the place grief has in our lives. 

The word “grieve” first makes me think of the loss of a loved one.

But I also think of the grief present in the loss of a marriage, a job, a friendship, a life’s dream.

The loss of all things normal…

And now in 2020, grief has taken on a special kind of form… a constant place in our thoughts and in our nightmares.

I have days of ups and days of downs. Some days are a little of both. I guess that’s true of any year in any life. But these past few months, ever since Coronavirus landed in our paths, I have felt the pull of mercurial moments more frequently than is in my nature. Perhaps because the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like months, it is disconcerting to say the least.

I’m mostly an Optimist operating with a Realist’s playbook…a Realistic Optimist. But anyone who is breathing right now, knows the challenges of managing this frightening, ever-present monster. And if it hasn’t hit you yet, it will…or else you are still in deep denial.

Every day we are grieving the loss of touch, the loss of physical closeness, the absolute loss of all things normal. Mostly we are grieving the loss of time & place with those we hold so dear in our lives. We ache to see them in “real space” with no masks on their faces, material or otherwise.

To have and to hold…

I ache to hold my adult children close, to sit with them and cuddle, to sit and talk leisurely. And yes, someday, to hear them sneeze or cough fearlessly into the air around me and not worry about their future.

We are also grieving the loss of security of health; security of our bank accounts; the security of movement; the security of our jobs as we knew them; and the security of all our norms.

I miss seeing my friends in person. It is “sit on the porch” season, for heaven’s sake! It’s sip ice tea and enjoy egg salad outside season!

It’s Bonfire season and huddling close to point out the newest star we all want to learn about, or standing close to help someone find the “Seven Sisters”. It’s bird watching season and I’m ready to use my new binoculars to embrace a new hobby! I can do that alone, yes…but it would be so much more fun with the friends I know who live and breathe this stuff.

It’s share a glass of wine or a peach bellini on my deck season!

It’s Webber Grillin’ time!

It seems what would have been seen as the smaller parts of our lives, have now become big parts because we have lost our beloved patterns, our habits of being. We no longer shop leisurely for fun. We shop with purpose and we shop expediently, not wasting a moment in our planned actions for fear of contact with the dreaded virus. We no longer exercise with abandon. We walk, bike, or run with masks and other protections, pausing to nod hello, with as few words as possible, consequently, missing those serendipitous, casual conversations with fellow earth travelers.

We miss our jobs as we knew them. We miss our jobs period!

We miss all our interactions with one another!

Now, please don’t get me wrong…I don’t think dwelling on the grieving part…or staying in that “lane” is a great idea. But ignoring those deep, deep feelings is not a healthy way to manage our revolving emotions either.

I have found it is best to grieve when it comes. Call it what it is. Call it out! Let the emotions come and then deal with them from a place of strength….the place that comes AFTER you have acknowledged the weight they put on your shoulders.

Then, and only then, can we breathe again and have the strength to deal with whatever comes next.

One Step Closer…

We are making our way into our ‘new normal’ and we are doing a pretty good job of it. But it is not without pain, sorrow and yes…grief. So let’s acknowledge it and realize in saying what we miss, we are one step closer to managing those losses better, healthier, wiser.

If you need right now to read something that will help you cry it out, shout it out, or otherwise work it out, go ahead and read the rest of this piece.

I’m a big believer that in expressing what is deep inside us, we are moving toward healing what is all around us. So, go ahead…and grieve.

And if you are so moved, write what you are missing, what you are grieving so far in these upside down pandemic times.

Little by little we will heal together.

Grief comes in all sizes and shapes.

It comes in “Bits and Pieces”.

The following is a piece I wrote in mid-December, 2019. 
It is a full circle piece on grief, giving it its due but also its place in the healing of our lives.

I wrote from a place of hurt and great pain, but also a place of hope and purpose. 

And so I hope that it speaks to you or to someone you love. 

Grief Comes in Bits and Pieces

Grief comes in bits and pieces!

It arrives at the craziest times … in the weirdest of ways.

Grief is the fibromyalgia of feelings! 
It sneaks in when you least expect it; slithers under your door and enters your day in every bone, every thought; every muscle and every feeling. 

It’s everywhere, all the time.

In every possible way, grief is the uninvited visitor.

It comes unbidden in the middle of the night, waking you with sorrow that sucker punches your solar plexus with way too much power for your 3:00 AM weary soul to manage. 

It comes unwanted in the middle of the day, shoving its way into a lively conversation at lunch.

It startles you while you’re working, robbing you of the peace of distracted ‘busyness’. 

It wreaks havoc with the holidays; with photos of your loved one’s face, and once-upon-a-time joyful songs you sang together. 

It is way “too much with us”. 

Grief, the relentless, unmerciful teacher, demands that we let it run its course. 

For in the end, the expression of grief, as horrible and as punishing as it can be, is the main ‘way through’…a bridge to the other side of sorrow. 

We grieve deeply because we love deeply!

Eventually, one day in a moment of grief, the pain is at last bearable.  
Tears of sorrow become tears of healing.

What were once painful memories become tender reminders of our cherished loved ones. 

Tender memories in the midst of sorrow. 

Grief comes in bits and pieces over time, for the rest of our lives!  
That’s the price of great love!

“Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”

Psalm 30:5

Looking forward to all the joys we can find this day and in days to come!

Despite all I miss, I still believe in protecting others and going slow to go fast in the war against coronavirus.

So, One, Two, Three…Say with ME!!!

Love your neighbor! Wear a Mask!!!

3 thoughts on “Go Ahead and Grieve!”

    1. So many kinds of grief. The first part of this piece I focussed entirely on the pandemic as that is where my energies have been. The second part I wrote last winter and it covers all types of grief and all kinds of loss! What ever speaks to you when you read it, is what you needed at that moment.


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