For many around me this Thanksgiving week (and all of 2020) has been filled with loss. Friends have lost their dads and husband’s, Grandma’s have lost their sisters. Others have family in the ICU and fighting for their lives. Many of us are at a loss of how to help or what to do all while feeling so many emotions about the state of our own lives.
While I sit here, after an amazing spread of food and family time and think about all the things that I am incredibly thankful for it is hard to not also feel incredibly sad.
2020 has been a tough year for so many people and for so many different reasons. It has been a year of grief (for me displayed mostly as sadness and anger). Those that have not lost loved ones are still grieving.
We’re grieving the time that we’ve missed with our elderly family who we’ve social distanced from or not been able to visit in retirement homes.
We’re grieving the loss of missed milestones for our kids – missed graduation ceremonies, sports tournaments, concerts, recitals, and so much more.
We’re grieving the loss of our coworkers, office spaces, and whatever work life balance we had.
We’re grieving the loss of our perceived freedoms, ability to decide where and when we go places, what PPE was required in our daily life, and when we’d have a temperature gun pointed at our forehead.
We’re grieving the loss of our time that should have been spent with our extended family and friends on vacations, during holidays, and even just a fun afternoon or weekend.
We’re grieving the loss of our jobs and financial security. We’re greiving the loss of celebrating weddings and new babies with friends and family.
We are grieving the loss of our support systems (friends, teachers, coworkers, playdates, workout partners, etc.) that have been pulled away to sit in their own grief and figure out how they are going to support themselves.
This list could go on and on…
The grief is real. For some of us the grieft is massive and feels unbearable. For others it has been uncomfortable and hard. But it is there for all of us – front and center for some and lingering under the surface for others.
We need to show up for ourselves, our kids, our friends in whatever way we can. Follow your heart. Make the phone call you’ve been too busy to make. Reach out to those on your mind. Apologize when you snap at your spouse because you are frustrated with something completely unrelated to them. Show compassion and grace even when you feel like you aren’t receiving any in return. Be flexible. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Ask for help – your supports are still there but distracted and busy too. They want to help however they can even if that looks different than normal.
If 2020 has done anything positive… it has reminded me to be thankful for the little thing and to value my relationships. I’ve failed miserably most days but I will keep on trying. I will show kindness, grace and compassion through my anger, frustration and grief.
My tears, love, and prayers go out to those that are currently crushed by the grief they are holding. May those that have a hand to help, a smile to share, or a dollar to spare help to hold up those that need it.
Love and prayers to you and yours,