What a year…
It’s been a horrible 12 months. It started with the death of my aunt and went downhill from there. That was the first of a string of deaths, including my mom’s, and I feel like a stunned mullet. Add into the mix, various family members catching Covid and my nephew and great nephew being involved in a bad car accident.
It’s been one thing on top of another and, at times, it’s hard to catch my breath. What has made it a little more difficult is the uncertainty of lock downs and border closures. We have to get permission to travel around our own country. I am becoming a hermit again. Masks give me panic attacks, so every time our state has to wear masks, I don’t leave the house. I shop on line for no contact groceries; I don’t go to church; I don’t meet friends for coffee.
I am more fortunate than a lot of people though and I am thankful. I can work from home and have not lost any hours the whole pandemic. I am not in danger of losing my home. I try to help others as I can who are struggling with this endless cycle of lock downs and loss of work. There is such an air of defeat and hopelessness around, not to mention fear.
I can usually bounce out of the doldrums, but this feels different. My counsellor encourages me to get out and make coffee or lunch dates and get back to some kind of normal. But I am feeling, what’s the point? No sooner will I get into a routine than our power mad premier will lock us up again. We are already locked out of almost every other state in the country.
I barely sleep these days – 3 or 4 hours a night. And before you ask, I have tried everything I can no matter how wacky it may sound. It’s easy to lose all hope, but I am not quite there yet. I still find ways to smile or laugh
What have I learned through all this? The sun still continues to rise; the stars still shine at night whether I can see them or not; the birds still greet the dawn. I am tougher than I sometimes think; you can always find a least one good thing your day to be thankful for. Connections are important – having a least one person in your life that matters and who you matter to – I have several and they keep me somewhat sane. Fear is a robber and if I give into it completely, i will stop living. You will see beauty, if you dare to shift your focus, like my friend M, who spends hours photographing bugs of all shapes and forms.
The grief process is hard and so different for all us but it is a process. No two days are the same. I am reminded that, sometimes, we go through the valley of the shadow of death. But it is only a shadow regardless of how things around us seems to give it life. Some days it is hard to keep breathing, but somehow you do. Moment by moment, you move forward and heal a little more. You just have to take that next breath, smell that rose, find that one good spot in your day and just maybe, tomorrow you will see the sunrise again.
I never thought I would wear a face mask. I’ve seen people in Asian countries wearing them and thought it really strange. We communicate so much by facial expression. But believe it or not I have adapted. I now feel protected by wearing one. It is my friend. I just wish others would cover their nose as well as their mouth. The air they breathe out is the same from either their mouth or nose. I try to avoid them. Because of my health issues I can’t go for long walks especially up hills, but I can walk to the park, go shopping. I’m grateful I have a garden and I can do volunteer work from home. I’ve been to zoom parties and zoom breakfast club. The little church I attend has zoom church and afterward we all have a chat together. I go to 2 zoom Bible study groups. I chat with friends on the phone for an hour. I don’t know anyone who has had COVID but I have had friends, but not family, who have gone to be with Jesus and I miss them very much. That is sad and leaves a hole in my heart but I have a hope and a future. I know you do too. I pray you will also find peace in your heart too. Laurel