A New Kind of Grief in These Times

Posted by Ginger, Volunteer Mentor @gingerw, Apr 7 7:07pm

If you are like me, you might be feeling uncomfortable, unsteady in your daily activities, perhaps unable to pinpoint just why you feel “off”.

Our lives have been turned upside down recently, and this might continue for the near future, but it is not permanent. How we relate to people has changed, how we spend our days is quieter [unless you have kids at home!], a nonchalant hug to a friend is not a good idea. Gatherings, like a meeting, a health club, a place of worship, a sports activity, even school, are but a temporary memory. We have had to become better versed in technology to stay connected, if we want to visit. Celebrations and memorials are on hold.

I was recently given this article, and it really makes sense to me! While my personality lends itself to social isolation, I still miss the occasional interaction with my fellow humans.

– That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief https://hbr.org/2020/03/that-discomfort-youre-feeling-is-grief

What do you grieve in these times? How are you handling this discomfort/grief, what are you doing to minimize lasting effects?

 

@gingerw .
Great article, Ginger. We have experienced loss of our former way of life. In many ways we need to grieve this loss. I'm interested in hearing how others are approaching these losses such as the loss of freedom just to come and go as we would like to.

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@gingerw Well except for my loss of going to Church its a blessing for technology. About a year ago my Church was blessed with the equipment to set-up Live stream and I became the person to facilitate that service and being retired I was Happy to have something to do along the lines of my former work. So about 6 months ago I had the opportunity to train some assistant operators and now due to my condition I am not able to go to Church but I still get to watch and not miss out on that. I also help the Pastor each morning Remotely (we have a school also and the kids are now learning at home) to give a devotional to the kids and keep there spirits up so now I don't feel isolated. I also appreciate my morning walks each morning since Arizona weather has been really nice lately. So I'm actually busier than I was a few weeks ago. Then becoming a Mentor has also given me some great joy helping others. So except for the hassle of getting grocery's and cleaning everything that comes into the home my Wife and I are doing well.
Have a Blessed Day
Dana

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@gingerw That was a great article . I think the most part for me is that Im not in touch with anyone in my family they are busy with there son when he isn't doing his school work. We where a lot closer earlier on but time changes everything and now I dont think the world will be like it was before . My hope is that people all over will be a little bit more kinder to others and not be so greedy . To give because they can to others and not have a lack of compassion for the underdog . I know when this is all over I will be able to see my grandson and son,/his wife again . This isolation right now is hard on everyone but we will all get through it . Patients to everyone . Keeping busy is the key right now . I just cleaned 3 drawers and lined them with contact paper . Ive been wanting to do this for awhile but have the time now . So what do you do to grief from this virus that invaded your life?

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I am beyond misery! I live in the epicenter of the virus – NYC, and it is now like living in a desert. I recently had some symptoms – no fever – but my doctor
suggested I go to the hospital and get tested. I should have stayed home! They did not test me and I spent the day being exposed – given blood tests;
x-rays, and finally released at the end of the day with the doctor telling me, " You are one of the more healthy 88 yr olds I've seen in a while". What a waste!
I am mad at my doctor and mad at everyone at this point. I don't feel great,but am gradually better. Have trouble eating – things don't taste good – except my cup of decaf in the am. There is almost no take out available now – you can get a pizza, but all good restaurants are closed. I spent yesterday yelling at everyone – no deliveries, no real help. Then a miracle! with my pile up of laundry amassing, I chanced a call to a place that does wash and fold. She was
open – I blessed her and they collected two bags of my laundry – due back today. I have a home aid due today and we will change my bedding, at last!
this is a slim picture of life in NYC now – I will never believe I'm iiving through this nightmare,but there it is. I know there are people going through much worse but I have a right to complain too. I feel for all. I cried when the laundry told me they were open – shows the level of depression I'm in. More cheerful
this morning however, will try not to bitch too much. ( By the way, they didn't quite know what I had – mentioned Corona light (a beer?) or some virus.)

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@gingerw– Wonderful and insightful topic. I have to self-restrict some of my actions because of lung cancer. I have to slow down so I can breathe better, I had to learn a new breathing technique so I can climb stairs and exercise, and these are just a few. But to have more restrictions on my behaviors and actions gets my hackles up! And it's making me uneasy for the reasons stated in the above article but also because in isolation, or even being quarantined our bodies change. We become more stressed and can have high blood pressure and other changes in our chemistry. Being quarantined and isolated can also remove our life purposes. We have no direction, limited rules, and regulations with nothing to fill that void, especially for people who do not work from home. I actually have less a feeling of unrest because of my purpose. Every day I have Connect.
"Human beings are social creatures. Our connection to others enables us to survive and thrive."
https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/social-isolation-loneliness-older-people-pose-health-risks

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@gingerw Yesterday I was having a "loose ends" kind of day – couldn't settle down to any task, didn't feel like walking about, felt sad, especially about missing Easter with my girls and my little guys. I knew I was "off" but couldn't put my finger on it – then you posted this – Wow, exactly.
After reading it I force myself out on my little lane, and made a point to stop and ask everyone out on their patio (from the road) how they were doing. I was able to make sure my young neighbors were all OK and hear their stories, which they are usually way too busy to pause and share. Then I stopped to chat with one of my dearest and most upbeat friends, only to hear she had the same sort of day, and was able to share the insight you gave me, Ginger.
I plan to share your link on our Facebook page today, because I just know we here are not the only ones…
Thank you.
Stay calm, stay safe, stay healthy everyone
Sue

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@sapphira

I am beyond misery! I live in the epicenter of the virus – NYC, and it is now like living in a desert. I recently had some symptoms – no fever – but my doctor
suggested I go to the hospital and get tested. I should have stayed home! They did not test me and I spent the day being exposed – given blood tests;
x-rays, and finally released at the end of the day with the doctor telling me, " You are one of the more healthy 88 yr olds I've seen in a while". What a waste!
I am mad at my doctor and mad at everyone at this point. I don't feel great,but am gradually better. Have trouble eating – things don't taste good – except my cup of decaf in the am. There is almost no take out available now – you can get a pizza, but all good restaurants are closed. I spent yesterday yelling at everyone – no deliveries, no real help. Then a miracle! with my pile up of laundry amassing, I chanced a call to a place that does wash and fold. She was
open – I blessed her and they collected two bags of my laundry – due back today. I have a home aid due today and we will change my bedding, at last!
this is a slim picture of life in NYC now – I will never believe I'm iiving through this nightmare,but there it is. I know there are people going through much worse but I have a right to complain too. I feel for all. I cried when the laundry told me they were open – shows the level of depression I'm in. More cheerful
this morning however, will try not to bitch too much. ( By the way, they didn't quite know what I had – mentioned Corona light (a beer?) or some virus.)

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@sapphira – Venting in trying times is perfectly acceptable. It was probably Carona Light, extra cold. HaHa!! So glad the laundry service was able to give you some comfort.

I find that at times, the lack of connection can be tough to take.

Do you have family and neighbours you can connect with periodically? (At a distance of course)

Stay strong and healthy.

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@lioness I grieve that I cannot, at this time, head to our little restaurant in town for lunch and a chance to visit with other townfolk stopping by. Our coffeehouse, which has shelves full of books to browse as you sip a drink, with comfy sofas and chairs, closed down for now, so a gathering of knitters/ crocheters is not happening. I worry about those who are much more social than I, that this forced isolation may trigger a crisis.

@merpreb Being told to change my behavior, rather than choosing myself, sets off my "rebel" gene! Let me make that decision!

@sapphira How scary, to be exposed like that. Our lives have all changed. Some more than others, but that does not diminish the effects on us as individuals.

@sueinmn So glad to hear this article has had a similar effect on others, that it had on me!
Ginger

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@grandpabob

@sapphira – Venting in trying times is perfectly acceptable. It was probably Carona Light, extra cold. HaHa!! So glad the laundry service was able to give you some comfort.

I find that at times, the lack of connection can be tough to take.

Do you have family and neighbours you can connect with periodically? (At a distance of course)

Stay strong and healthy.

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bob – Thanks for the encouragement. still miserable!

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@gingerw Well another day and Im not any more wiser then yesterday. I was pleased to see the flowers I planted I saw a shoot coming up so to me now spring has sprung here at my little apartment. Im going out for a walk becsbuddy here in a little while when it warms up latter . We just had a good rain but 5 min. now its drying up and sun is out . Hello sun seeing it out makes me feel alittle better . I dont know if our local coffee shop is open or not will walk up and see. . I can look out my window and see the port of Long Beach I did a harbor tour once to see how those big cranes work to unload the ships that come in from China and other places. This is amazing a man operates the crane by sitting in a little box way up in the air . Just amazing . That's my story for today time to go walking take care and keep painting or is it done?

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@lioness..Sun's not out but no rain so went for a walk. Getting sinus headache from the cold air. Having coffee now, maybe a couple of Tylenol too. The Starbucks by me is closed but the Starbucks inside the grocery store is open, some drive through too. Some years ago I was the plus one to a company party at the Queen Mary and we stayed the night in one of the cabins. Very interesting experience. All the fixtures are the originals. Enjoy your view!

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Hi @gingerw That was a great article! And I thought I was the only one feeling down. I lost so much when I got sick and was working hard to get it back again. Well…. I had wanted to go see my mother but now none of us can. But, she says she’s being well taken care of where she is. With her age (96 ,soon to be 97) I worry all the time. So now I’ll go finish making masks for all my friends in the park! Doing for others always helps me. 🤗

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@lioness

@gingerw Well another day and Im not any more wiser then yesterday. I was pleased to see the flowers I planted I saw a shoot coming up so to me now spring has sprung here at my little apartment. Im going out for a walk becsbuddy here in a little while when it warms up latter . We just had a good rain but 5 min. now its drying up and sun is out . Hello sun seeing it out makes me feel alittle better . I dont know if our local coffee shop is open or not will walk up and see. . I can look out my window and see the port of Long Beach I did a harbor tour once to see how those big cranes work to unload the ships that come in from China and other places. This is amazing a man operates the crane by sitting in a little box way up in the air . Just amazing . That's my story for today time to go walking take care and keep painting or is it done?

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@lioness We are experiencing glorious sunshine today, and the temperature is actually supposed to get into the mid-to-high 60s! We are so glad to see blue skies and sunshine, doors open for fresh air. There is a slight breeze, and I am watching the dandelion fuzz wafting in the air; I am encouraging it to get into the empty field! Last night I watched the full moon rise over the trees to the east, and our empty field behind us. It was so beautiful. I hope that you are able to get something at your little local coffee shop. As for the painting, we are going to wait until I am better able to do more before we continue with it. I have such limited movement in my right arm and shoulder due to the stitches. Good thing I'm left-handed!

@becsbuddy like you I find doing for others very rewarding. And there are so many opportunities to do something, even small. The feeling that I get from helping someone is much more than what I can give them. Glad to hear that your mother is doing well, even though she can't have visitors. That must be frustrating for everyone.
Ginger

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@gingerw We have a lot of sunshine after the rain we had and I did my walk outside the smell of fresh air awakens the senses. OUtside my window I can see the moon every night and planet Venus By the way on May 16th this year you should be able to see a smiley moon . Two planets will make the eyes and the moon last quarter or first forgot what it was I read about the moon. So hopefully you will be able to see it and me if no clouds. I love to look at the sky and clouds Picturing a animal shape like when a kid . . Going to go and finish those 2 drawers I have left to do . Take care be safe

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@mayofeb2020

@lioness..Sun's not out but no rain so went for a walk. Getting sinus headache from the cold air. Having coffee now, maybe a couple of Tylenol too. The Starbucks by me is closed but the Starbucks inside the grocery store is open, some drive through too. Some years ago I was the plus one to a company party at the Queen Mary and we stayed the night in one of the cabins. Very interesting experience. All the fixtures are the originals. Enjoy your view!

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@mayofeb2020 I know I,ve been in the Queen Mary 2 times now last tour I took they should us where Churchill and Eisenhower stayed there state rooms where small, I heard if this virus gets worse they may make it into s hospital ship again . I hope not . It is a beautiful ship inside .

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