Heal the Grief – Part 3On April 2, 2020 by mysticdd-admin
When the pain & guilt phase hits, we process the loss a bit more. Whether or not we physically lose people to this virus or if we simply process the fact that we have lost so much time that could have been better spent, we will all go through a period of guilt where we regret life choices that were made in the past, feel the pain of separation from loved ones, and feel the pain that others are going through.
When the announcements were first made that we would need to self isolate, I had to consider who would be allowed in our house, who we would interact with, what we might need to get through the first wave of panic, and what we could live without. I made choices to think about a long term plan, and because we have the skills, prepare for a garden I have not planted in a decade because it was easier to buy it than grow it. Even now we don’t know that our supply chains to bring fresh fruits and vegetables will be intact come the fall and winter season. Preparation costs nothing. And alleviates some of the fear.
But the fear invades everything. Need bread? Damn. Do I go to the store? Or do I learn to make some? How often can I go to the store and still stay safe? How long do I need to stay away from the rest of the world to try and protect myself and my family? Will not buying bread today be enough? Will the community I live in step up and keep each other safe or will they be selfish and think only of their own needs, not putting any effort into making sure that all are being protected? The test of a society is how long they can think for the greater good, keeping that in mind always, not descending to the level of panic that leads to riots and greater destruction and deterioration of the city structure.
So many are being called to keep working, keep society running, even in the face of possible contamination. Risking themselves. Risking their families. And yet there are people out there who believe they have the right to belittle these individuals, make comments, be impatient, put themselves above everyone else that needs to do the exact same thing that they do. We are all feeling the immense pressure the fear of the unknown is creating. It costs noting to be kind in these times – in any time. There should be less distance between the financial status rungs on the ladder now. And the constant bickering about race, colour, and gender – stop it. We are all susceptible. We can all die from this. But we can also live through it. We can live through it together. Our strength will come from being the best we can for all of our community, for each individual is a vital part of the whole.
One of the main energies we are all feeling at this time is anger. We are angry at something we cannot control. Anger is a self-fed emotion that sits, banked up in our brain, waiting for a bit of fuel to to be added. We resort to bargaining with ourselves and with our higher self, our God, the Universe, sometimes calling it prayer. How many have asked “Please God, don’t let me get sick.” Maybe you have not been religious in the past, but this is calling you to seek out God, or any deity that appeals to your personal belief system. Maybe you have never had a belief system in place and are now wondering just where to go, what to believe, where to find strength. For most people, in times of crisis, they will return to the church or religious group of their childhood or that of their parents. As the centuries have turned, fewer people attend organized church on a weekly or even semi-regular basis. Most will claim that God (insert your deity here) does not exist, that they have no use for the church. And maybe there isn’t. Or maybe you just did not have a reason to seek one out before now.
Bargaining right now has become very simple for many. If I can get through this trip to the grocery store and not catch the virus, I will stay at home for another week, feeding my family, caring for my children, caring for my pets. We have become very insular and home focused, which is what we should have been doing all along, we just got caught up in having to do what we perceive every other person is doing – sports, games, activities, gotta keep busy. Why? Because we don’t like to be alone with our own thoughts. Because we have been conditioned to believe that what the “Joneses” have is what we need to have. The constant strive for something better, something bigger, something more, is what makes our world economy thrive. But at what cost? We are now finding out that much of what we think we need is simply a luxury we have decided is a necessity. What we really need is to create loving stable families and homes for our children, support systems for our seniors who are the historians of our time, and caring, embracing neighbourhoods where people look out for each other and ensure the survival of as many people as we can.’
We get angry at the people who appear to be thinking only of themselves because community is becoming the most important thing we will have to rely on in coming months. The people who carelessly travel, bringing the virus back with them, thinking that they will never catch it, or simply putting on a brave face and daring the Universe with their bravado. There are many people who face the public every day and live with the fear that the person in front of them may be contagious. The essential services, from doctors and nurses, to grocery clerks and bank tellers, all are relying on the public to use some common sense. And if everyone was capable of putting the rest of the world first, they would have less to worry about. Only necessary trips out would be made. Only limited exposure would be happening. But this virus has ensured that we can be careful and still get sick. This is the ultimate equalizer. It does not care how much money you have, how big your house is, how old you are, what colour your skin is. Everyone is the same to it. It is time we all thought the same way about the world outside. We are all the same.
Some are bargaining for the lives of their loved ones. Some would trade anything to take their loved ones place in that hospital bed. Some will try anything to cure their loved ones. And some have lost the battle. With that comes the question: “Why?”. “Why me?”. “Why her?” Why them?” Questions that there are no answers for. There is no rhyme, no reason. The experts throw out calculated guesses one day and are shown to be wrong the next. We cannot truly prepare for the infection we may or may not get as we are simply reactive to the effects presented when the virus invades. As a species, we are not good at being only reactive. On a one-off scale, we can handle it. Like your boss suddenly deciding you earned a new office. But day after day, it is the unknown that is wearing us down. We have a compulsion to prepare ahead – schedules and calendars are full of what we need to do and when. Now we are faced with something so small that we cannot see it, controlling our very lives, telling us what we can do and when we can do it. You can’t plan beyond today because you really have no idea what tomorrow is going to bring. Sometimes even the day brings so many changes that they cannot be processed.
Now is the time to let go of the dependence on world news and updates to tell you what you should do and when. Look inside yourself. What do you need to do today? Not want. Need. The needs are simple. Meals. Beverages. Staying clean. Staying healthy. Wants are where we fail. We have been conditioned that we can just buy anything we want anytime we want. We have had no boundaries, no limits, no restrictions. In the Western world, we are consumers and consumer-driven. Commercials urge us to buy more and more. These are wants. I acknowledge that there are many people out there, even in the Western world, for whom, day to day existence is hard. They don’t have a pantry full of food, they don’t have the ability to stay in their homes for weeks at a time because they are not in a financial position to do so. But they are also the people most capable of teaching others how to live on less. How to make do. How to be inventive and creative. How to be valued when society has chosen to say that they are not. The fields are being levelled.
For many this is a time of reflection, partially because with everything else slowed down, there is time to think. For some, this is a dangerous time as being busy kept their demons quiet. The voices could not be heard when there was a game on, or friends to be with. Staying busy, preoccupied, stimulated, prevents the depression, the darkness, the black hole that many fall into, clinging desperately to the edge of sanity. Check on your friends if you know they are prone to depression or suicidal thoughts. Without their normal coping mechanisms in place, this time of uncertainty will be hard for them to process and cope with. The constant influx of information, much of it depressing in its own right, can add to the overwhelming feelings of doom and dread that can easily spiral into a debilitating darkness.
This is also a time of loneliness for many. Individuals who relied on visits from others, be they our seniors in a home, shut-ins with medical conditions, or simply people who chose to live alone, are finding it difficult to communicate with the outside world. Their world has shrunk even more with the removal of their safety nets, the weekly visits, the coffee shop meetings, the in-house nursing care, the drop-ins from neighbours. All limited by our new social distancing protocol. The simple act of hugging someone in need is a risk. Sharing love should not come with a price tag. A simple walk down the street has become a judgment game. Everyone looks at everyone else with suspicious eyes. Sharing an aisle in the grocery store is an anxiety filled moment where each person assesses the risk of crossing paths with someone they don’t know. Fifteen questions flit through your mind, all focused on whether or not the other person is contagious. It is a stress-filled time and we are not accustomed to being under the constant weight of questioning the integrity of each and every person we meet. Our auras have been enough in the past to lead us away from danger. But this is unseen, undetectable, unknown. It is the fear of the unknown personified in a life altering virus that can and will affect us all.