There are lots of social media memes floating around about 2020 being an interminably long series of disaster after disaster.
“If only it would end”, is the hidden hope whispered inside hearts longing for the calendar to turn from one year to the next.
“If only things would get back to normal!”
But there’s no magic in how we humans divide the days or months or years as this big blue marble travels round the sun and through the universe. It’s simply a convenient way to mark time.
And there’s no guarantee that time, by itself, rights anything. There’s no promise in the next sunrise that what’s been broken will be mended.
The rest of the world is learning what bereaved parents have known ever since the awful reality of child loss was laid at the door of their hearts: there’s no way back to “normal” once your world is violently torn from its moorings.
All you can do is assess the damage, pick up whatever pieces may still be viable and try your best to cobble them back together into usable shape.
Some use the term, “new normal”, to describe a state that (most bereaved parents) eventually reach. A way of walking in the world with a profound limp, a wounded heart, a half-smile that hides tears threatening behind tightly closed eyes.
We make adjustments because we have to. The world doesn’t stop and ask permission before continuing on its merry way.
I would not wish this pandemic on a single soul.
I grieve (maybe more than many) over every person lost to Covid19. I cry every time I hear of another lonely elder separated by glass from human hugs and family kisses. I am counting the cost of witnessing traumatic deaths for nurses and doctors who have to hold hands as well as treat illness because visitors are not allowed in the rooms of the dying.
We haven’t begun to assess all the ways this pandemic is changing and will change us-individually and communally.
But if you’re waiting for 2020 to end, for a magic vaccine or for some other relatively instant and far-reaching cure to transform current reality, I think you will be waiting a long time (if not a lifetime).
I think, that like me, you will have to work through your own feelings and fears. You will have to decide what risks you can take.
You will have to figure out who and what in life is non-negotiable and hold onto that with both hands no matter what else happens.
Bereaved parents are good at this because we have to be.
If you are looking for trailblazers through unprecedented tragedy and unfriendly territory, follow them.
They can show you how it’s done. ❤