Whether it is due to the loss of the freedom to meet a friend for coffee, go to work, drop kids off at school, visit a grandparent, or attend a spin class, we are now a world in mourning. What a strange sense of loss it is to have the entire world as we know it suddenly put on pause, with no clear time for its restart.
It is disheartening that all of our reliable distractors, movies, theatre and sports are suddenly on hold as well. These are things that usually act as commonalities and sources of discussion amongst family and strangers alike. They help to measure time, and seasons. To have whole pages of our daily planner erased is traumatic, scary and unnerving.
And then there is the sadness for all that is lost, the photos of events that were cancelled, the memories of experiences that have been postponed, and most important, the lives of those who have been lost.
There is a sense of injustice that many feel for the missed proms and graduations and the other rites of passage, the unusual circumstances of births and weddings, and everything else that is different, that will be seared in our memories of this year.
There is a sense of loneliness for those who are suffering with a sick loved one cast into isolation or the funeral that cannot be the appropriate send off to a loved one.
There is concern for the paramedics, nurses, doctors and all those brave first responders who we usually take for granted. Coupled with this is the prayer that no one we know and love will need any of their services.
There is fear for the jobs that may be lost or have already, and the businesses that will never reopen.
There is worry about what the world will look like after COVID-19. What scars will be left? What holes will remain forever unfilled? Will there be a sense of global PTSD? Will life ever be the same?
The sense of mourning is real and needs to be acknowledged by each of us. We need to remember that these thoughts are spinning in the heads of everyone around us, including the teens and children. Their feelings and thoughts need to be heard and not dismissed as an overreaction nor a selfish behaviour.
Everyone needs to have someone to talk to at this very strange time. As the listener it is important to remember that many of these questions do not have answers right now, so it is okay not to have them. The purpose of someone talking to you, or you talking to them, is to merely share this experience of discomfort in a time that is filled with uncertainty. Allow for that to be the bottom line right now.
Open your heart to listen to someone. Just listening and acknowledging their sense of mourning is helpful, and helps the world have a sense of humanity as it struggles to spin forward another day.
Like all mourning periods, this one will end. This we all must remember and, most importantly, remind each other.
Be that person for someone else today.