Grief – We Need To Talk About It

Little Chats From The Heart –

Grief.  It is everywhere and we need to talk about it.

It has shown up without warning.  Uninvited. Casting a dark and unwelcome shadow that has quickly spread across the globe.  Leaving us feeling vulnerable and exposed to an invisible enemy that is difficult to see but impossible to ignore.

It feels personal and like most grief – it is.  There is no way to avoid it or to hide from it.  Not this time.  It is everywhere.

Yes – grief has blown in on the wings of this new and invisible war.

COVID-19 has changed the world.  It has changed life as we knew it just a few short months ago.  This new and mysterious enemy has changed us.  The entire world is universally and collectively experiencing grief.  All at once and in many different forms.

Grief is not picky and just like this virus it is prejudice to no one.  It is messy, undefined and there are no rules to follow.  Grief is pouring out and invading both our personal and public spaces with no regard for who might get in the way.  And – sometimes – it can feel unforgiving in its quest to find us as we are all scrambling to adjust and adapt to all of the changes we now must face.

People are grieving all over the world and for many different things.  Suddenly, it has become a part of our daily lives and it does not care if people are young or old.  Rich or poor.  Grief does not care about race, age, sex, status or where you live.  Grief is everywhere – yet people still struggle to recognize grief when it shows up and appears.

Today and in lieu of this global crisis, the list of losses is long.  People are grieving the loss of loved ones without the chance to say goodbye and that is unimaginable.  But – people are also grieving the loss of jobs, financial stability and sometimes the loss of their homes.  We are grieving the ability to see or hug our families and friends.  People are grieving a false sense of safety and security each and every day.  Daily routines, the freedom to go out and our social activities have come to a screeching halt.

Schools are closed.  Graduations, weddings, surgeries and funerals have been cancelled or postponed. Trips and travel have ceased to exist. Food items, household and critical medical supplies are hard to find and running low.  Health care workers, first responders and essential workers are at risk.  People are feeling  vulnerable, afraid and alone.

In short – dreams are on hold and the simple concept of self-preservation has been put to the test. In more ways than one.  There is no easy fix and everything feels wildly out of our control.

This mess came out of nowhere and caught us off guard.  And while people are working tirelessly around the clock to find answers and turn this around we are still facing loss at every turn.

Life is filled with uncertainty and while we may not like it,  grief has become a part of it as we struggle to regain our balance while managing all of this new found loss.

So – what do we do with all of this grief?

I don’t have any magical answers but grief has taught me a lot throughout the years.  Grief is hard.  It is complicated and it hurts.  But – I have also learned that grief does not have to be the monster hiding in the closet or underneath our beds.  Grief can serve as a guide helping us to find our way through the storms while we are desperately trying to survive.  It can be the life raft that saves us from drowning when life has stolen precious things from us. Things we should never have to lose.

But – we have to face our grief and we have to talk about it.  Hiding it or ignoring it will not help.  Pretending it isn’t there will only keep people stuck.  It is not going to go away.  There is no way around it but rather it is important to go through it to get to a place of healing on the other side.

There are no short cuts. We are facing something that most have never faced before and whether we want to accept it or not, grief is here. Our hearts are broken right now.  We are all grieving and it can feel unmanageable because there is so much loss happening all at the same time.  It is easy to feel helpless and for some, grief was a part of life long before this crisis emerged.

So again – where do we land in the midst of all of the loss and grief that has come tumbling into our world and turned our lives upside down.  How do we navigate these unchartered and troubled waters?

We grieve.  We fall, get back up and we grieve some more. And – hopefully we become stronger and different because of it.

I’m  praying and hoping that we will slow down and find gratitude in the things that matter the most.  In those things that we have forgotten about or that were buried under heaps of nonsense in this material world.

It is my hope that the human spirit will stand strong and learn that we can come together to fight back. To help one another and find a new perspective as we grow forward.  To witness that there is courage and strength in kindness and not in the darkness of judgement.

I hope that society will finally recognize that grief is a bond we all share and there is no right or wrong way to grieve.  That we need to support each other and find compassion in our hearts.  For anyone that is grieving today and in the weeks ahead.  Because no one is immune and it will touch us all.

It is my hope that we will finally understand that joy and pain can co-exist and that gratitude and grief can walk this journey hand in hand.  That we as human beings can see the beauty that exists in the world. Even when life feels hard.  To love more deeply and to hold those that you love close.  Every chance you get.  Remember – we grieve because we love and love is what matters most.

Grief will find you.  And while we all grieve differently it is my hope that we can evolve in some way and that slivers of light will shine through the cracks of our broken hearts.  To remind you that all is not lost.  That tomorrow is another day.  To encourage you to keep going and to never give up when darkness gets in your way.

I hope that grief will help us to somehow become better.  To become more understanding and to lead with empathy moving forward.  To stop fighting and to forgive those things that just don’t matter anymore.  I hope that we can stop tearing each other down and instead build one another up. To pave the road to a happier existence and to a place where we can fall asleep in peace knowing we did the next right thing.  For ourselves and for our world.

Grief is a process.  I am NOT minimizing the challenge of loss or the grief it brings.  It is not easy.  Ever.  It is hard.  This is ALL hard.  And it is okay that you are not okay right now.  Times are crazy and it will impact everyone in some way.  No life will be untouched by loss or grief.  And it will hurt and can come with a price most don’t want to pay.  But it is happening and while we don’t have to like it we need to find ways to accept it and face it.  Head on.

Grief will change us but sometimes it is through our grief that we find parts of ourselves that were lost along the way.  Those parts that can reveal the best parts of humanity and can lead us to a place of strength, wisdom and living a better version from who we once were.

Life has changed and our world may never be quite the same but with any change comes opportunity and it is my hope that despite the bad we will discover new ways to co-exist and to find something good. We are in this together and collectively we can also grieve together in the days and weeks ahead with more clarity and better support.

Grief.  It is everywhere.  We need to talk about it and there is no avoiding it.  But – perhaps we can emerge from these dark and trying times as more empathetic and compassionate human beings.  And perhaps we can learn to openly grieve with each other and to not feel so alone because of it.

I see your grief.  I hear your grief.  My heart stands with you in your grief.  We can and will get through this – one step at a time.  Together.

In Peace and With So Much Love

Michele

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