Back in March, someone asked me why I was stressed about the pandemic if “not many people had died yet.” Those of us who work in grief & trauma saw what was ahead – the ripple effects of loss, isolation, and uncertainty reach far into the future.
Here, via NPR, is part of the long arc unfolding:
I don’t share this and other articles to instill despair and hopelessness. But we’ve got legions of people entering the world of grief whether directly or indirectly because of the pandemic. Those losses will continue to ring out through the next several generations.
The work we do to normalize grief, to open real discussions about loss and pain and hardship? They remake the world. They attempt to remake the world.
We can’t stop these losses from cascading. But we can change the way we talk about loss so that all people – from those wrestling with their sobriety to those in communities of color where the death rate for Black folks is twice that of Whites to those staring down the loss of their jobs and health insurance, wondering what that means for the safety of the people they love – we can change the way we talk about loss so that all people feel heard and companioned inside their pain. That in itself helps to break the cycle of hopelessness and despair. The answer to pain is in the pain itself.
We can’t have a cascading epidemic of loss and keep talking about grief in the same old ways. It didn’t work before this pandemic, and it won’t work now.
Wishing for some company inside your grief? Now, as always, the very best place I know to connect YOU with other grieving folks is inside the Writing Your Grief community. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, there is always someone there: when you feel invisible inside your grief, these folks see you. When your friends have their own sh*t to deal with and you can’t lean on them, your WYG family is there. I mean it folks, this community is unlike any other place – online or IRL. The September session is open now and we’ve got room for you. Follow this link to join us, and pass it on.