Grieving for (the old) Normal
Dear Friends and Family,
For the past few days I've felt a bit melancholy. I remain grateful my little family is healthy, safe, and loved, but I find myself wishing for the old days, longing for a return to the old normal.
This, I believe, is grief. Grief for what is lost. Grief for what will never be again.
Everything I know about grief tells me the only way out is through and the only way through is to feel it, name it, and share it. So, here goes.
I don’t like my life being on hold. I want my old life back. I want my daughter back at college planning for her summer courses in Oxford. I want my husband back at work. I want myself back at work. I want to take trips to visit family and friends. I want to celebrate graduations, birthdays and anniversaries—in person. I want to go to the grocery store without wearing a mask or gloves. I want to be within touching distance of other people—family, friends, colleagues, and even strangers.
But there is no going back. Life is not on hold. This is life and I know it. Two weeks ago, I accepted it. But, today, I’m denying it and slipping into a bit of magical thinking: If I just wait long enough, things will go back to normal. If I’m just patient enough, I’ll get my old life back.
This, too, is grief.
I know we are lucky to have our jobs, our health, our home, our family and our friends. And, I am grateful. Beyond measure. Beyond words. But still, I grieve for what once was.
Grief doesn’t go away, but it will transform. When we feel it, name it and share it, we get through it. And, if we’re lucky, grief can hone our values, focus our actions and teach us how to be in this world, but it is a process.
So, until then, stay healthy, safe, and loved, most important, loved.