Think back to where you were 2 years ago. Do you remember what you were feeling in the days that led up to this week? Can you remember how things started changing in your workplace, your community, maybe even your home? And then, consider how this feels to remember today, as you sit here 2 years later. What changes remain? What has the last 2 years looked like for you and your loved ones? What does that feel like today?
Regardless of how you have experienced the last 2 years, the COVID-19 pandemic changed many aspects of our lives. There was a night where you went to sleep not thinking about COVID, and then a morning where you woke up and thought about COVID – whether you wanted to or not. For many people, their entire jobs changed. They no longer commuted into the office, shared common spaces with their coworkers, and chatted on lunch breaks. For many families, children went on spring break and then did not go back to school for the end of the year. School happened in the home, work happened in the home, everything happened in our homes as our worlds became a little bit smaller. For some people this was a welcomed transition, seeming to fit with their values and perspectives; for others this transition was challenging, restrictive, even unsafe. Regardless of how it felt then – how does it feel now?
We experience grief with any change, and the last 2 years have been a collective experience of grief. A global event changed how we work, travel, communicate, and socialize. When we think about Kubler-Ross’ 5 Stages of Grief, we may see periods of each stage dotted across the last 2 years. What stage do you find yourself in today? With each news update, change in procedure, and perspective offered we experienced grief again. And many people are dealing with grief from the COVID-19 pandemic, while being asked to return to their workplaces, to return their children to school, to interact with others – all while not feeling settled or at peace with these last 2 years.
It is okay if these last 2 years have felt like it was harder to cope. It is okay if you are grieving. It is okay if you have grieved. It is okay to experience feelings of uncertainty, frustration, confusion, and/or ambivalence. Remember, grieving looks different for every person.
Please know that if you find yourself grieving or find that you want help processing your grief – you are not alone and you do not have to it alone. Our office has professionals who can support you in your process of this grief and any other grief that presents.
It has been 2 years. If reading this or reflecting on this has created strong feelings in you, please consider reading our previous blog “Coping With Grief.” We also invite you to consider reaching out to our office for any additional support you may need.