I cried a lot yesterday. I did not lose anyone (praise be!) and yet I openly and desperately wept for almost 20 minutes. I have no idea why, just that I did. I reflected on my Maslow needs: safety, physiological, love and belonging, esteem- whoops- there it is in esteem- freedom. I have lost freedom.
With Covid-19, we have all lost freedom. And in loss, there is grief. The Kubler-Ross model of the five stages of grief are familiar now: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
I guess I’ve tried really hard to do what I can to “flatten the curve” by staying home, washing my hands, and coughing in my elbow. But for me personally, this goes deeper.
I cannot do what I used to do! I cannot go out and get a cup of coffee. I can’t visit friends. I can’t walk the malls if I’m bored. I can’t grocery shop. I can’t go to my favorite restaurant. At home, my outgoing personality is crimped. I wave at people when I walk, but that’s it. I can’t see the people I work with, and I can’t be in my office- a change of scenery. And I don’t know when this will end! And I am super scared, because I have diabetes. I’m at risk from this virus, a little more than everyone else.
My crying is me grieving. I lost a ton of freedom, and normal, and it hurts. For the moment, I’m physically okay. My job is safe. I can eat good food, and skype/ video chat with people. But I can’t help outside of the house – and that is what sustained me and brought meaning to my everyday life before all this.
And I’m losing some of the joy of this springtime season. Spring brings Passover, Easter, and holidays in almost every major religion. Spring normally brings parties, celebrations, and outdoor adventures. For me, a big loss is the graduation ceremony from UAlbany, where I just finished my PhD degree. The ceremony is another victim Covid-19 claimed. The University canceled the event to protect people. Rightfully so, by the way, but still…. It hurts.
What helps now for me is sharing and talking with others. The Friday GreenstoneXP Discussions group hosted by Jill and Greg help me, personally, maintain some contact with the outside world, and give me a place to process, grieve, heal and find stories of hope.
Please join us every Friday at 11:15 AM EST. Clink the link for more info: