By Annelize: The COVID-19 is not just another pandemic, not just another illness. It is trauma, and we are all experiencing it at some level globally. For the first time, in ages, we as a collective being are experiencing something so strange, something so radical, that most of us still do not comprehend what has happened to our way of life.
Globally, we have experienced trauma, we have experienced a loss of the way of life. A loss of what we all called normal or regular life. Our being has been disrupted. We have been shaken to our core. We were not only frightened, shocked, but we are bombarded with news, updates, scientific research, guidelines for protection, remedies, etc. daily of the Corona-virus.
We can choose how much we allow, how much we read about it, research about it, etc., but we cannot get past the fact that this changed ALL of our lives. It will not be the same again, as many things have already changed, and will still change. Our core was shaken, our stable ground trembling at the presence of this virus. Living in the twenty-first century and a mere virus can disrupt our lives to these extremes, it does not make any sense?
Looking at the Kubler-Ross Grief Cycle, we can see the stages that a person goes through when grieving any loss. Loss of a loved one, loss of work, loss of income, loss of the way life used to be, loss of social life, etc. These processes are not always linear.
If we start at denial, we all felt that this COVID-19 was surreal, it was as if we were in a movie. It just could not be true. Giving yourself a bit more time to process what is happening. It started in China, and that is okay, it is far from where I am, so it will not happen here. What is it? Can I prevent it? What should I do? What should I not do? Will my family be okay? Is this true? What is the truth? Is this really happening?
Starting to feel anger due to feeling frustrated as to why did it happen? Anger hides the emotion and pain felt. A huge problem is who should I be angry at? How did it start or originate? How could they allow it to spread? How could they lock-down cities? What will happen to our country? Why? Why can’t I go to visit my friends? What about my work?
A slowly creeping feeling of helplessness, as there is no cure. Feeling overwhelmed by the situation. Are we doomed? Will we as a human race survive this? Feeling depressed as it seems no one knows what to do, or what will help? Feeling isolated, alone, without an answer. Waiting to see if we will be a victim, or not? I just need to be able to go out again, visit family and friends. I want to work? Will I get an income? Will I still have my job? Realizing the true magnitude of the loss will create feelings of depression. Longing for the past, what we had, feeling empty and in despair.
Bargaining is where we try to handle this situation, to regain control, how can we change the outcome? “What if” and “If only” statements start to surface like If only we take our vitamins, clean our hands, wash the produce we would be safe. What if we isolate, perhaps that can protect my family? Some go to their religion and bargain with God to save them, if You protect me and my family, I will give you my life, or part of my income for the rest of my life.
Acceptance does not mean that you are okay, or that you are happy again, it does mean that you have accepted what has happened, and what is happening in your life now. Some days may be better, other worse, but there is a slow turning upward. This is a very gradual change to accept the new way of life.
Grief is very special and each person differs and goes through the different stages, at different times. We do not know how long we will grief this COVID-19 pandemic in our lives, the radical, abrupt changes in our lives, but we will need to go through the process to heal. Since we are all worldwide, as a human race going through this process and in different stages, it is very important to support each other during this time. We are all in this together as one family. Let’s have compassion for others as we know what we all are experiencing, we react differently, we handle things differently.
The collective trauma is all around us, but we can overcome this, we can go through the grieving process and we can unite again as a human family. Things might not be the same as before, we have huge losses, but we have become stronger, we have realized how little we need to live, we realize what is important in our lives. We realize what we miss, and take for granted. Hopefully, we will never again believe that it is our right to have something, but that it is a blessing to work, to socialize, to be with family, to go to a restaurant, to have a picnic. Small things matter.
Please reach out if you need help or feel that you get stuck on one stage for too long, we are here for your support.
Love and Light,