Grief. I have known this emotion since the age of 13. My life changed forever after my chronic illnesses took an eternal presence in my life. I have grieved daily since I was only 13 years old. It has never stopped. Grieving the fact I have had two surgeries since this summer, with the discussion of future surgeries continuing. Grieving the normalcy I could have had. Grieving the fact I have felt how it feels when your body is slowly slipping away, and felt that sensation multiple times.
That grief now feels miniscule. So minor. So small. Anticipatory grief. The sensation of grief for what is to come, for the time period where you are able to finally reflect on what has happened. That is one of the best phrases to summarize what this pandemic has brought. Everyday there is so much pain that can be tangibly felt in the air. The grief our society feels as a whole is astronomical. So much grief, so much loss.
Over 315,000 lives have been lost in America from COVID-19. It is over equivalent to 9/11 happening nearly 100 times. It is painful to see how some members of society have become desensitized to death. How so many carry on with their days as if no pandemic exists. As so many constantly say this is a hoax, not real, that chose to believe Facebook over science. It is painful because there is a community of people who are only alive because of science. Those who are chronically ill are kept alive by doctors, nurses, and an entire medical staff. I am only here today because of science. I hear how people spew falsehoods and hoaxes that this is a way to control people, that the vaccine is dangerous, and I sigh. When you fight to stay alive with chronic illnesses your only option is to try everything. It is painful to see happen- to see the medical professionals I owe my infinite gratitude to, fight daily against a pandemic while people tell them they are evil or corrupt.
As a society we have endured countless traumas this year. It is surreal to have completed another semester of college- except it was entirely online, and during a time period where thousands of Americans are dying everyday. We all are just trying our best to get through everyday. To try and cope with the helplessness of not being able to do more to protect our fellow citizens against COVID-19. To go about our daily routines as hospitals are hitting maximum capacity. It easily makes us question our own struggles, and their worth or importance. Despite this, it is not healthy to keep charging ahead at full speed while burning your own candlestick from both ends. That is not sustainable. And we all deserve better than that.
Please, check in with your loved ones. A Facetime call, a Zoom cocktail hour, a text, a phone call, a handwritten card. I beg you to please take care of yourself. This year alone we have entered a pandemic, vowed to learn how to become actively anti-racist, tried to keep small buisnesses alive, worked hard to get as many voters as possible active in the presidential election, and so much more. Remind yourselves: this is not normal. It is not normal to be this stressed and experience this much grief daily. The way we get through this is by supporting and loving one another. The love and kindness I have received from others throughout my own journey has kept me hopeful, has kept me sane. The human connection is important. It is powerful. We must not lose touch of that, while remaining as safe and responsible as possible in regards to taking safety measures for COVID-19. Honor your right to rest, to moments of peace. We have had a lifetime of events occur within one year. We have had to endure a lot. Please be kind to you. Please give yourself grace.
Know you are so loved. You are so important. You are not alone. We will all get through this together. Humans are resilient. YOU are resilient.
I am sending you a hug,
This is the recipe of life
Said my mother
As she held me in her arms as I wept
Think of those flowers you plant
In the garden each ear
They will teach you
That people too
In order to bloom