Recently my friend Rebecca shared that she "lost it" when she realized there wasn't enough flour in the pantry to make cookies with her daughter. She immediately felt tightness climb across her shoulders, and she left the kitchen so her child wouldn't see how frustrated she was. Why?
In the current climate, what used to be a mere “frustration” now feels like a full-blown “loss." No, it’s not about the flour. It’s actually about fear. Rebecca has a health issue so she can’t just run to the grocery store anymore. The lack of flour reminds her that neither she nor her family is safe, she’s lost her sense of control, and she’s not going to have cookies for dessert!
After months of living in a world with COVID-19, every one of us has suffered losses. Our losses include routine, predictability, justice, and our feeling that we can protect and care for those we love.
And when humans suffer loss, humans experience the emotions of grief.
Grief is the normal and natural emotional reaction to loss or change of any kind.
Therefore, we are all grieving.
Just think about that. Every person you see is suffering from some type of loss and is currently grieving. It’s no wonder the world is struggling so.
What can we do? Well, these three things can help:
1.) “Name it and Claim it”
Name the emotion, in the above example frustration, and then recognize why you feel that way. Yes, it’s about the flour, but it’s also about the loss of feeling safe and free.
2.) Talk to Someone
Are you feeling irritable, bitter, or detached? And how's your body? Are you fatigued or headachy? Sore muscles or tummy problems? These are all physical signs of grief. Share what is going on with a friend, family member, or doctor. These are not days to go it alone.
3.) Write in a Journal
Journaling is well-known for helping with life challenges by moving your intangible thoughts and feelings to a tangible piece of paper. It helps you explore what you are feeling, and also frees your mind from the thoughts and worries you are carrying around in your head.
These are tough times, but humans are resilient!
And that includes YOU!
With best wishes always,
PS This Fall I will be leading a zoom workshop for the Greenwich Library on Grief, see below. Please contact me if you are interested in joining--space is limited!
Processing Grief: A COVID-19 Grief-Journaling Workshop
5-weeks (Wednesdays, Sept 23, 30, Oct 7, 14, 21); 90 minute sessions (7:00-8:30pm)
COVID-19 has brought with it immense loss. At the most basic level, a loss of routine, feeling safe, and control. It’s also taken lives and livelihoods. With loss come the emotions of grief and suffering. This grief journaling workshop is designed to help participants process a loss or losses that they suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic through the act of journaling.
Jennifer Quasha Deinard, ACC is an NYU-trained, ICF-accredited Professional Grief Coach, Speaker, and Author. She has published over 40 books for adults and children and has lead writing workshops at the Greenwich YWCA’s Domestic Violence Services and the Rowan Center in Stamford.
Each session will include:
•The Theme: Grief & the Power of Journaling; Recognizing the Many Faces of Grief; Knowing the Myths & Avoiding the Pitfalls; Validating the Uniqueness of Your Grief; Developing a New Self-Identity
•A Facilitated, interactive discussion
•Time for journaling