Notes from the Pandemic: Grief

Jen Bradbury
Apr 02 · 5 min read

Over the weekend, I had a pretty awful mental health day. I spent much of the weekend in tears. Since writing has always been how I've processed and made sense of the world, I decided to write about the experience. The simple act of writing did my heart and mind good. So, from here on out, I've decided to publish some of my musings here, in a fairly unedited form in the hopes that perhaps others can relate to them (and maybe even find solace in them) as well.

Brene Brown is teaching me not to say "At least." Though true, "At least I still have my health" tries to add a silver lining to a moment when we simply feel sad. 

At the same time, author Glennon Doyle is teaching me to feel all my feelings.   

So, this week, in the midst of our third week in quarantine, what I feel is grief. 

I'm grieving the fact that yesterday, more than 1000 people died in the US from COVID-19. I can't even begin to wrap my head around the fact that those numbers will continue to grow over the next few days. I also can't stomach that many of those people died alone. That, in and of itself, moves me to tears. 

I'm grieving for my high school teenagers, especially the seniors, who left school not understanding they wouldn't return. 

I'm grieving for Hope, whose dance recital hasn't yet but will likely soon be canceled. 

I'm grieving for my husband, who's facing a pandemic precisely when he's launching an international business and who's already lost several clients. 

And I'm grieving for myself. My dad turned 79 on Tuesday and all I wanted to do was give him a hug. I'm grieving that not only could I not do that, but out of love for him, I couldn't even be in the same room as him. Instead, we were left to make a cake to eat in his honor and then to celebrate via FaceTime. And no matter how much you try to make a silver lining out of that, it's just not the same. 

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So, today, I'm giving myself permission to feel all the things that I feel. 

And today, what I feel is grief.