As we enter our second month of days at home instead of the Seed, it’s beginning to sink in that we may be at this longer than we originally anticipated. The novelty has begun to wear off, and the list of things we are missing from our old life grows longer each day. Granted, most people in my world have a home, food, and a way to earn a living. Our lives have been rearranged and inconvenienced, but compared to people in other parts of the country and world, we have it pretty easy. Nevertheless, there are elements of this change that have triggered grief. Just yesterday morning, my nephew’s high school graduation photo was posted on social media, along with the disappointing news that there would be no graduation ceremony. Last week in conversation with our teachers, it was mentioned that some students, after finishing up a Zoom meeting with classmates, became angry and sad. During a writing session with the 1st/2nd graders, we heard story after story about all the ways friends were missed. Interestingly, as I was pondering the various losses we’ve all experienced, this quote surfaced: “Each person’s grief is as unique as their fingerprint. But what everyone has in common is that no matter how they grieve, they share a need for their grief to be witnessed. That doesn’t mean needing someone to try to lessen it or reframe it for them. The need is for someone to be fully present to the magnitude of their loss without trying to point out the silver lining.”
― David Kessler, Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief
One thing I notice is the tendency to dismiss my own feelings of grief and loss. My experience feels so minor in comparison to the loss of others. Yet, it also seems important to validate our own experiences, whatever they are.
Working with the 1st/2nd graders, we used our list of changes we’ve noticed in the last month to focused on something we missed, friends. We composed a poem about what the children missed specifically:
Playing fairies with friends
Running around playing Jedi
Catching balls and tagging people down
Sitting at the table making comics
Saying hi every morning
Talking and joking at lunchtime
Even though we aren’t together
We still have Zoom
Giving children an opportunity to talk about what they miss and how they feel about it helps them feel validated, and gives them a door of hope for the future by also acknowledging what we still have.
We have no idea what life will look like when we return to school and our “normal” everyday lives. These times are giving us a chance to pause and sort out what we value most. I am hopeful that what we do rediscover as precious will hold a more prominent place in our lives in the days ahead. Yes, there is tremendous loss right now. And there is an invitation for a global shift in consciousness like never before in our lifetime. Take time to validate your feelings, and be kind to yourself. You are not in this alone.
If you are needing some help with this, I recommend these resources:
Brené Brown podcast on grieving