We're all grieving. We're grieving the loss of the world as we know it. The world we existed in, that we were accustomed to, is gone. We're grieving the loss of gathering for meals, gathering for worship, and simply knowing what to expect out of our day.
We're collectively feeling heavy, feeling overwhelming emotions—we're collectively grieving.
And there is something equalizing in that.
Athletes, politicians, fast food workers—we're all on a level playing field when it comes to the coronavirus.
Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (author of 'On Grief and Grieving') gave us all a shared language to navigate this experience. We all know the steps: Denial, anger, bargaining, despair, acceptance.
We started with "This whole thing is a media hoax," "This is just the flu."
We experienced anger at each other, at the situation, and leadership.
Finding exceptions and loopholes and excuses was the bargaining stage. "I can go out, I'm young and healthy," "This will all be over by Easter, everything will be fine."
For many, despair hit hard when facing a loss of normalcy, a loss of livelihood or a loss of health.
In the face of COVID-19, acceptance is sheltering in place and practicing social distancing.
But it's helpful to remember that while this is a shared experience, we're moving through these stages in different orders and at different speeds.
That in mind, let's give each other some grace. You never know which stage someone else is working through.
On this very subject, author David Kessler, "Like every other loss, we didn't know what we had until it was gone. we're all trying to find ways to virtually hold each other's hands. We're in this together. It is not going to be forever, it will end. There's not a dark night that stays, and yet we have to feel these feelings. We have to feel the grief."
Grief is messy and complicated but let there be comfort in knowing we’re not navigating the waters alone.
Take care of yourself, take care of someone else.
Cydney Baron is the editor of the Claremore Progress.