By Jackie White
Coronavirus has taken a lot. It has taken all that we once knew as our everyday life. Quite literally, every aspect of the life we knew before has changed. For some, it has taken much more. It has taken the lives of loved ones, and for that, I am truly sorry.
The Loss of the Life We Once Knew
There is something going on we may not be realizing and that is we are living with a sense of grief right now. We are grieving the loss of the life we used to live. Our jobs, schools, and everyday tasks like shopping or dental appointments have been altered. The gatherings with families and friends have been drastically reduced with many special events like graduations, weddings and even funerals being canceled. Glimpses of normalcy surface now and again, but all of this has left many of us grieving the loss of the life we once lived.
Grief is usually associated with the loss of a loved one. However, people can experience grief for other reasons such as a major disruption in life. It’s an understatement to say that our lives have been disrupted. They have been turned upside down and rattled in almost every way possible,so, it is no wonder we are all feeling some grief about that. It is important to recognize the stages of grief, work through them and find the acceptance, hope and gratitude on the other side.
The Stages of Grief
Shock and Denial: This is when the event occurs and feelings are often significant. Disbelief and denial are expected responses.
Guilt and Pain: Once the denial subsides, the guilt, regret and pain of the situation can be felt. Remorse for the loss can set in as well.
Anger and Bargaining: During this stage anger sets in about the situation. Because reversing the situation is impossible, frustration can also be apparent. In an attempt to control the situation, many will try to bargain with a Higher Power. Many try to make a deal with God that if only you could have your life back (or the life of a loved one), you would be a better person. Because cutting deals like this aren’t realistic, the next step of grief, depression, can be apparent.
Depression: Depression and suicide rates have skyrocketed during the pandemic because people are having difficulty dealing with their feelings and situation. Many are isolated because of social distancing which has added to this unfortunate situation.
Testing and Reconstruction: These stages work together in that a person begins to realize the toll their grief is taking on their life and they begin to identify ways to reconstruct and rebuild their lives. Seeking ways to deal with grief and setting goals for the future are helpful to move onto the next stage.
Acceptance and Hope: This stage allows for the opportunity to acknowledge how the grief has affected us and it’s time to choose to rebuild your life.
It is almost 7 months into this situation, and it’s likely time for many to accept and acknowledge what has happened. With that acceptance, we need to make room for hope and gratitude. For it is nature’s way for the sun to shine after the rain and this experience is no exception. The coronavirus and it’s ramifications may still be with us for some time, but we need to relieve ourselves of the loss.
Finding Hope and Gratitude
To find hope you must have a desire to persevere and the faith that good will come. Maybe that’s asking a lot right now, but the other choice is choosing to feel badly about what has happened. To move on, you must choose hope. What will help you along with this is making a conscious effort to be grateful for what you do have. Each day find 3 things to be grateful for. Write these down, so you can refer to them later. Once you see there are things to be grateful for, your attitude will begin to shift. Your mood will become brighter, and the hope for the future will be stronger.
Finding hope and gratitude will lift your spirits and help you to recognize that you can move forward with your life, albeit maybe in a new direction or definition of what you thought it might look like. Choosing to look at the pandemic as an opportunity to move your life forward is going to be the silver lining and good in the grief.
Hang in there.
Hold on to hope.
Choose gratitude and
Erika Fehrenbach Prell is passionate about inspiring and educating, others on their path to complete wellness-mind,body, and soul. This desire led Erika to the helping profession of nursing, and she obtained her Master's Degree as a Nurse Practitioner in 2007. Erika specialized in cardiac surgery, largely influenced by her personal experience with heart disease. While she loved working with this population, her heart's desire has always been to impact lives on a larger scale and from a proactive, not reactive, place. The universe answered when her path crossed with Jackie and SoulShine was born. Erika finally feels she is walking in her purpose and is excited for this journey to unfold.