A New Kind of Grief in These Times

Posted by Ginger, Volunteer Mentor @gingerw, Apr 7, 2020

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?

 

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Post-COVID Recovery & COVID-19 group.

@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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@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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Hi, Sapphira, I can only say you sound like a terrific trooper to me. Glad the doc told you about being more healthy than most your age but what a shame! it took so much trouble and time to find out you didn't have the virus…which was great news.

A very close cyber friend lives in Queens and we email daily. I have learned so much more about your incredible city through our friendship. Before, her lifestyle and mine are so different it felt like we lived on different continents. Now, it feels like we live on different planets!

She lives in a multi-family high rise bldg. The condos share a communal laundry room in the basement and individ. mail boxes are also on a separate floor. She is doing her laundry in her bathtub and waits several days to go for mail. She is finding it very difficult to make food delivery orders. All neighborhood services she's relied on are closed. She has health problems and fears leaving her condo to take the elevator; too many steps to her floor are out of the question.

She and I "quibble" over who loves "our" NY Gov best! Smiles. I grieve that all leaders across the country haven't heeded his requests, his sharing of facts and true signs of leadership from the first outbreak in NY. His daily briefings are my "boyfriend" fix each day.

You have every right to be feeling as you do! I get my Irish up too that our magnificent country was caught so ill-prepared and ill equipped and behind in confronting this virus. I also cry at the kindnesses I see, read, hear about and personally experience during these extraordinarily stressful times. That is why having this Connect safety valve is so important for so many of us.

Happy to be making another NYC cyber friend. Hope you'll post more!

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@sueinmn

@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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Sue, after reading Ginger's link, I sent the "Grief" link to my sil for possible reference in his daily e-mail briefing to staff. Also posted the link to our neighborhood facebook group and sent it to individual friends. Sharing really helps.

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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, your post brought a chuckle and reminded me that at age 25 I was so disappointed. After all, I'd turned a qtr of a century in years but recognized that I was Still appallingly unwise! At 50 yrs, I remembered that earlier dismay; just smiled and thought: not much progress on the wisdom but life is pretty good. At 75 yrs, I am just so frolickin' happy to Still Be Here that flaky or no, wise or no, life itself is well worth the trip!

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@becsbuddy

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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Wow, Becky, You must have great genes to still have your mom working toward 97 yrs young! I like being a "helper" too and this isolation is really putting a physical cramp in my ability to runs errands and share meals with older friends. The worst though is not being able to physically visit my critically ill best friend. It seems so feeble to be reduced to phone and e-mail connections with those we care about. However, being in touch by any means available is better than not. Any polka dot masks in your arsenal? Smiles

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I've followed this thread for a few days now, debating whether to reply. For me, it's somewhat of a hot button. My friend, who is a psychology professor (certified in thanatology, the scientific study of death) and fellow bereaved parent, has been discussing the difference between grief and mourning. She's wondered if the feelings people have right now in relation to the pandemic are actual, profound grief or more accurately defined as fear, worry, anxiety, uncertainty?
After experiencing compound traumatic grief of multiple losses in a 6 year period (my infant twins to extreme prematurity, my father & my husband both to cancer and my last living child to a rare and undiagnosed disease, plus the deaths of my 2 Great Danes,) I find it a little difficult to equate true profound grief with people complaining they can't get their favorite food or can't get their hair done or are forced to spend 24 hours a day with your spouse/partner & children.
I'm not dismissing someone else's feelings. I just wonder if the social isolation, distancing and stress of the pandemic might be causing some loss of perspective? As @gingerw said, "Our lives have been turned upside (down) recently." Yes, that is true. But for the most part, the majority of Americans will at some point be able to resume life with their families still around them. Family is a precious gift that I can never replace.
Thank you for reading my 2 cents on the subject. Everyone stay safe and remember to count the blessing you still have.

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