Who would have ever imagined in the year 2020 we would have experienced a worldwide pandemic? Wasn’t that something that only happened in the “old days”?
I’ve been thinking about the strangeness of this year, specifically, how different it is walking through this grief journey in the middle of a pandemic. Walking through grief is tough enough under normal circumstances but trying to manage all of this during a pandemic is on a completely different level. It’s been heartbreaking for those who couldn’t honor and celebrate the life of their loved one due to the Covid restrictions put into place. Heartache and grief lingering, left in limbo.
Yes, grief is like the waves in the ocean but I’m finding out it’s also like a long hike through the wilderness, too. The path has many twists and turns and is often laden with rocks, some so big that I have a hard time maneuvering around them. Then, there are other paths that are scattered with small stones which are much more manageable. One of the hard things for me is how we’re left to figure out how to best manage through the waves, the wilderness, the mountains and valleys without the direct support of those in our tribe who we love most. I so miss my dearest friends and family who don’t live near me. The time when we most need to be together – hugging, holding, sharing, or simply, just being together, has been prohibited.
Hurdling the boulders of Pandemic Grief has been the hardest, most challenging thing I’ve ever encountered. Each of these boulders have names and some I know better than others: Sadness, Anger, Anxiety, Disbelief, Lethargy, Foggy Brain, Numbness, just to name a few. Some of these big boulders are behind me, but I’m not foolish enough to think I may never encounter them again. I’m sure as I continue moving forward, I will likely go around a corner and there will be yet another one staring me in the face.
With so many unknowns in this world right now I cling to the things I am certain of. I know there is hope during loss. I know that we can grieve with hope. It doesn’t mean I won’t be sad sometimes, and it doesn’t mean I won’t cry because I surely will. My hope and my trust rest in Jesus. There is no other I can run to in the dark of the night with my questions, worries and fears. He’s the one I turn to in the early mornings as I’m looking at the picture of my beautiful girl, next to an urn of ashes. His word is true, and He is my promise-keeper. The Lord is my strength and my shield. In him my heart trusts, and I am helped. (Psalm 28:7). Whether I feel up or down, in the valley or on the mountain top I am going to trust in the Lord with all my heart (Proverbs 3:5-6). I hope you will let him carry you through this time, too.