Words are presenting themselves to me, even though I don’t know how to grasp what is happening around me/us. In November I underwent the deepest form of despair I’ve ever experienced as an adult and now the world has been turned on its side, twisted by both ends and is being squeezed to death by a relentless virus. I don’t even know how to process another layer of this journey which now includes the entire world, literally, on top of what my heart and my body have already been experiencing on its own within my personal grief.
There is this insistent feeling around me which presents itself in what I would call a smoky shadow or heavy veil. I know this may sound dark and dramatic, but my brain is my brain and it has a mind of its own. (a little humor there?) There is no other way to describe it. Without notice, it surrounds me, and pulls me down so low I think that I can barely breathe, let alone make a step forward. Then, in a whisper, the veil disappears and I feel temporarily free from all thought, worry, and despair. My beautiful mothers’ consistent words “rise above it” envelops me and helps me to gain the strength I need to keep on going. In the dark moments, I can barely lift my arms. I don’t want to move. I’m numb from head to toe. During the rise, I feel energetic, light, full of energy to engage in life again and I write, cook, clean, read, play, walk, communicate with my people etc. I bask in the rise in its entirety when it comes upon me, and miss its airy spirit when it dissipates and all the world turns into a mystical dense fog and I can no longer find my way through it. I can express myself through writing which helps me to make sense of it and I’ve found it helps others as well. If I didn’t have a way to express my feelings, (writing, exercise, music, art, theatre) I would be not long for this world. I believe it.
This virus added yet another major level to the many emotional layers I was already in the throes of. I am not myself, Lynne without the “e” as my children would say, grasping at the unknown of my new world and all of it’s changes. I’m actually more like Lynne without the “ynne” most days. I move around and do the things I was accustomed to in the past, but they have little meaning now and some days they take all I have to give. But I “rise above it”.
This virus has dug its claws into our very core as human beings, and the vastness of it is mind blowing. The ripple effect is so far reaching it is unprecedented. I had to limit my visits to CNN so I wouldn’t go down that dark “rabbit hole” of despair. I can’t take on the frightening position of our world in the same breath as my own grief which is already overpowering and mind altering in of itself. It’s just too much.
If you are one of the many people out there who are dealing with a recent death of a loved one, I urge you to not try to take on this overwhelming, breath taking, life stealing new contagion while you are already on a major life altering journey of your own. I find that keeping busy with household projects, taking long walks, eating healthy meals, keeping your mind occupied with intellectual and humorous things is helpful. I urge you to feel what you need to for yourself, and your grief, but try desparately to hold onto your sanity and your heart through this. Don’t get obsessed with it. Don’t allow yourself to go down the dark path, unless you have someone with you to help you find your way back and offer some light. We can NEVER understand another’s grief, but we can sympathize with the excrutiating pain it causes and the unending waves that crash over us periodically every day. We all know how to cry, to scream, to fall apart. We also know how to get back up on the horse for the people who need us and for the love we lost who would not want us to suffer for them.
A pandemic is a global outbreak of disease. Pandemics happen when a new virus emerges to infect people and can spread between people sustainably. Because there is little to no pre-existing immunity against the new virus, it spreads worldwide.
Imagine if love, kindness and empathy were to spread that fast without a cure. Oh what a world that would be!