I am writing this for you. For the you that has lost someone (whether it be physically or emotionally). For the you that feels an emptiness and absence where there once was. For this is all of us right now.
I am writing this now because we all have grief during this world pandemic. It is a new strain of grief that most of us have never experienced before. We don’t have a vaccine or a treatment yet for this type of grief.
We are grieving the loss of presence.
We are grieving the loss of a way of life.
We are grieving the loss of hobbies.
We are grieving the loss of routines.
We are grieving the loss of human connection.
We are grieving the loss of safety–physical and emotional.
We are grieving the loss of predictability.
And losing all of these things really sucks. It does. It’s difficult, unsettling, and gut-wrenching at times. There’s no way around it.
For many, grief is something dreaded. It is feared, avoided, kept at bay. For me, it is a familiar song, a lullaby, a story I have heard a thousand times. It’s not something to be feared; it is something to be experienced.
Here’s why: With every loss, comes a birth. It’s the Law of Conservation of energy. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred.
And when you have a life with one too many losses, whether you realize it or not, you begin to ask yourself what you have gained from them.
And so I ask you this: despite everything you have lost during this time, what have you gained?
Grief has taught me more things than anything in my life. I mean it. It has taught me lessons that nothing else in this world could have taught. So when I say that grief is beautiful, this is what I am talking about.
With the loss of your old way of life, comes a new way of life. A new perspective, maybe.
With the loss of old hobbies, comes new hobbies. Meditation. Cooking. Puzzling. Writing.
With the loss of old routines, perhaps comes the ability to face life head-on, without sinking back into the comfort of our routines.
With the loss of old human connection, comes the birth of art, the birth of writing, the birth of new human connections or deeper connections.
With the loss of physical and emotional safety, comes the courage for us to feel vulnerable in a way we may have never felt before. To look life in the eyes and know that it isn’t meant to be taken for granted anymore.
With the loss of predictability comes the birth of unpredictability (which was always there, but we choose to ignore it). Maybe it no longer means that we go on existing in this world as if we will be here forever and as if this earth will be here forever. Maybe it means we are more considerate, grateful, and appreciative.
Whatever you have lost or are losing, you are also gaining something. You may not be ready for this message right now– and I understand that. We have to feel our grief for a bit before we are ready to see the new life that it brings. We have to sit in it and acknowledge the weight of it before we can look beyond it. We have to tend to our wounds before we can see the new skin that grows there.
But when you are ready, I want you to look at the skin that regrew. It’s different, certainly not the same as what was there before. Grief changes us and leaves us different. But not necessarily in all the bad ways we might imagine. Grief leaves us different in some bright ways, too. It stretches our hearts and opens our minds if we let it.