April 18, 2020
There have been tears stuck behind by eyes for weeks now. I do not cry easily and in times where I should they often lodge themselves somewhere between my heart and head.
Today, they finally flowed. Anger, fear, even sadness seem like simpler emotions, easier to process, less threatening to feel. Feeling is painful. More than painful. It is unbearable.
So many of us are vacillating between sorrow and horror, loneliness and shared humanity broadcast remotely, virtually from zoom and you tube from behind our state mandated “self-imposed” isolation. Touch through wifi replacing skin to skin, hand to hand, any embrace or kiss.
When the wetness finally hit my cheeks, I realized what it was that was stuck behind my eyes. I hadn’t been hearing it expressed amidst the public shockwaves. They weren’t just tears. It isn’t just anger. It isn’t even sorrow. It is grief.
In the stages of grief, acceptance comes last and grieving is a pre-requisite to any kind of rebirth. I, like many I am sure, initially set myself up for a month or two of quarantine. A short delay in seeing my new baby granddaughter and her mommy (my daughter) and daddy across the country. I chose to view the time to “pause” optimistically as a God-given respite from the everyday stressors of life, a welcomed opportunity for humanity to ponder our priorities, while also giving our precious planet a chance to breathe, even as the virus literally took the breath away from the living.
But it quickly became clear to me at least, that the Coronavirus is far more than a mere “pause”. It’s reach and it’s message far beyond another “wake up call”. Humanity has been receiving those as first as whispers , then as shouts, then screams for some time now. No, no more wake up calls. Rather, it is Nature’s way of reckoning itself and it’s last gasp, it’s final plea for us to shift our way of being. The proverbial rubber has at long last met the road.
And so today, at last, I grieve.
I grieve for all the souls sacrificed to this disease so that we may awaken. I grieve for our country that lost it’s way. I grieve for the freedom I took for granted and never will again. I grieve for the time not spent with loved ones that we can never, ever get back and for the young people having their youth stolen from them. I grieve for the elderly, the “Greatest Generation” left to die alone in nursing homes, and the homeless and the African American community, and Native Americans, and all underserved human beings who bear the brunt of evil and greed. And for Earth. I grieve for all that was and never will be again.
Mostly, I think, I grieve because I need to. I need to, in order to surrender to the fact that nothing will ever be the same but that despite the suffering, or maybe because of it, it can be better. Much better. Hopefully very soon.