Covid. I am so over it. It's been two and a half long years. I'm done. I'm tired. I'm exhausted. I am fed up. I am still scared. I am shocked and surprised. How many more feeling words can I find to talk about Covid?
Somebody asked the other day, "Can we be grieving because of Covid?" Absolutely, yes. For all of us, grief is the normal and natural response to change or loss of any kind. Over these two and a half years, we've experienced a lot of change, and most of it was not our own making. A lot of it just happened to us. Grief is also the conflicting feelings caused by the change in familiar behavior patterns. How many patterns of behavior have we changed over these last two years?
Many of us are still working at home. Many of us haven't returned to the church or our faith community. There have been many changes in our behavior patterns, how we shop, and how we go to concerts and events. And still, for some of us, those changes will never be the same as they were before.
Covid is a grieving event, and it has been for two and a half years. That's a long time to go through all of this change. One of the Grief Recovery Method's basic tenets is telling the truth about yourself. One fact we need to be honest about is what we've lost. We've lost some tangible things. We've lost people. Some of us have lost loved ones, family members, friends, and people we know.
Some of us have lost jobs or lost hours on our jobs. Some of us have lost friends because of disagreements about how the pandemic has been handled. It's also been a cause of intangible losses: a loss of our safety and security. Perhaps even a loss of trust in some of the officials we thought should be protecting us. We're making the best decisions on our behalf. We've also lost the sense of community over these last few years. Several things have divided us, and Covid has been among those.
Some of our views about policies and science have been challenged, so many of our beliefs have been tested. The pandemic has been a time of loss, hopes and dreams, and expectations. Many celebrations and milestones were canceled because of Covid. The pandemic caused this yo-yo effect - this elastic string. Oh, it's going to get better.
I remember when our governor called the first lockdown. He said, "You know, we'll be back in church by Easter." We weren't. We'll celebrate liberty and freedom by the 4th of July, but we didn't. The kids will be back in school by the fall, and they weren't. This continual yo-yo of hopes, dreams, and expectations is difficult to have dashed. So absolutely, grief has been a part of this Covid story.
Whether or not you know somebody who's died or whether or not you have been sick, there are many reasons our emotions have been tossed about during these last two and a half years. As I started this blog by telling you about my feelings, it felt good to say those words out loud. Tell the truth. Tell the truth about how you feel. What are my feelings? What have I lost? What were my hopes, dreams, and expectations that I didn't get to see materialized? Find your truth and then tell your truth.
Share your feelings with a listening heart who will not say, "Oh well, don't feel bad. At least you don't know anybody who died," or, "Don't feel bad. At least you haven't had it yet." Find somebody who will listen. They don't need to fix you; they just need to hear you. Find somebody who shares similar thoughts and concerns about where this pandemic has brought us. Finding somebody to talk to, just to talk about it, gets that emotional energy out into the air. Name the losses. Name the feelings. Give it voice to someone who will be there to listen and care for you as you tell your story. Sometimes grievers feel like they're victims and don't have any choices. The truth is we always have options. We might not be able to change what's happening, but we always have choices about how we respond.
I am still concerned about getting Covid, so I still choose to wear a mask when I go out. I know many people aren't anymore, and that's okay. That's their choice, but my choice is to take the precautions I can take. I prefer not to go back to worship and instead attend livestream services. I still choose not to get my haircut. I tell people, “This is my Covid hair.” I can determine the risks I'm willing to take and be perfectly happy with that. It makes me feel empowered, stronger, and more in control of what might be an otherwise out-of-control situation.
Think about the ways and places you can make choices that will help you feel like you're getting more power and control back in your life. The Grief Recovery Method does have something to say about how to deal with COVID, especially as it relates to the relationships that may have changed as you were experiencing the pandemic over these last two and a half years. The book, The Grief Recovery Handbook, will teach you those skills. Another option is to attend a group meeting or see one of our trained facilitators. Grief Recovery Method specialists will help you do that.
Sharing your feelings will relieve your heart and your mind. I would encourage you to get a copy of the book, The Grief Recovery Handbook. Go through the steps. Just take the class, and work on it one-on-one with one of our specialists. Try the Grief Recovery Method to help you get through these COVID days for however long they last.
The program will help you look at the relationships that are important to you that may have been changed or lost during this time, and that's what's important. It's not about Covid; it's about the relationships that have changed due to it. Here's the deal - Covid is not gone, but we're still here. We will continue to get through this for however long it takes, or whatever the next pandemic is that raises its ugly head and comes our way.
The Grief Recovery Method can give us the skills to get our life back, help us make choices, and get some power and control back in what might seem like a relatively powerless and out-of-control situation. I love the Grief Recovery Method. It has helped me so much these past two and a half years, and I'm counting on it to help me get through whatever comes next.
Remember, Covid is not gone, but neither are we. We can do things to keep ourselves healthy, strong, and emotionally intact. One of the most important things to help us is to use the Grief Recovery Method.
Want to learn more? Reserve your free copy of The Grief Recovery Handbook here.