It’s been nearly two years since I’ve written here, but it feels like time to break the silence. Not for myself but for all the people who are hurting right now. All the people who are raging on Facebook about current circumstances…all those who are trying to navigate uncharted waters with no stars in the sky to guide them.
I want to tell all those people that this too shall pass. We can’t see the dawn, but I know it’s coming. And in the daylight, the world will look different. We will be different. Things will be lost – jobs, businesses, homes, loved ones. But we will also gain resilience. We will go forward as more determined, confident and inventive people.
How do I know?
Because I’ve been there – as has every person who has experienced life-altering circumstances.
If you don’t know what that hitch is when you breathe…that heaviness on your chest…that overwhelming feeling of hopelessness…I can tell you. That’s grief. You are grieving what you have lost. Your world has been turned upside down by forces that are beyond your control – whether you blame the virus or the government, there is nothing you can do about it. This is the way it is. All there is to do is ride the wave.
Eventually, that wave will reach the shore. You’ll stand up, dry yourself off and move forward. Some of you will sit staring at the ocean for days, months or even years. Others will immediately set to work creating their new future. Regardless of which camp you fall into, you’ll always remember how you survived – survived circumstances that threatened to drown you.
None of this is meant to diminish what you are feeling. The world has never been through this before – you are entitled to feel anger, fear, sorrow or whatever other emotion is coursing through your veins right now. There is no judgement from me.
After my husband died, I spent years staring at that figurative ocean. I know what it’s like to shake your fist at God during the day and wonder whether death would be easier at night. I still sometimes turn and look back at the horizon with sadness in my heart.
However, the reality is that we – my kids and I – have moved on. I didn’t want to, but we did. We adapted. We changed. Eventually, we flourished.
You will too. I am always floored at the human spirit. In the face of horrendous circumstances, people find a way to continue. We see that today with people banding together to help others. Businesses are pivoting to keep their doors open and their employees paid. Community members are reaching out to one another to help however they can. We will get through this, and I promise we will be stronger as a result.
Grief is natural. So is healing.