It’s no secret to anyone that 2020 has brought on more worldly struggles than we would care to live through. A common theme of emotions that are brought on by each one of these “catastrophes” are sadness, anger, depression, loneliness, and anxiety. Aka Grief. Sure, not everyone is grieving the loss of a human that meant everything to them, but they are sure as hell grieving a past version of normalcy. It’s all grief to me.
Being, unfortunately, too familiar with the uncomfortable conversations surrounding trauma and loss, many people have reached out and asked for my thoughts on current events. To be completely honest with you, I have trouble giving my thoughts these days.
Call me selfish, but my entire world already flipped upside-down, then again, and then again sideways all in 2019. I don’t have space for more grief and trauma in my life. I don’t have the energy to give to more grief. I’ve become accustomed to adapting to new normals, and to me, these worldly battles are small scale adjustments to become used to. Does it make it right? No, but it’s the dang truth.
The best analogy I can give is this:
If you are on an airplane that is crashing down to an unknown destination, and your child is right next to you, whose mask do you put on first? Answer: YOURS. You cannot save your child unless you first save yourself.
I cannot hold space for other grief when my own mask isn’t fully on yet. I’m still learning to breathe.
The sad, but true, reality for anyone who is grieving a gaping void in their life that was once occupied by a person that meant everything and more to them… is that other grief will never seem to live up to our own. Maybe that’s selfish, but because I believe in complete transparency, I will tell you that grief is a very selfish emotion. As it should be. It has to be. If it wasn’t, no one would ever really do any healing. Grief shows us how to dig deep inside ourselves…. “soulwork,” as I refer to it. The further you dig, the better chance you have at releasing trauma blocks and old childhood wounds that make grief that much worse.
I digress… if you are reading this, and you are not a widow, I ask you to factor in the above when talking to your widow friend/partner/relative. No matter if it has been 5 months or 5 years, chances are she still places greater grief value on her own loss than the platitude of losses occurring around the world. Now, I will make this perfectly clear… we are STILL very much grieving these worldly losses and traumas with you. It affects us just as much!
Just promise to please give extra grace to the ones eternally grieving their own past versions of normal. Our entire worlds were torn apart. Every single aspect of every day changed, and it probably wasn’t for the better. So be patient, and try to remember that while current events necessitate a need for public grief and outcries, that other brick might be weighing just a little too heavy to say much about anything else.
Above all, please be kind. We need it. The world needs it.