I have lived through seasons of immense grief. Existed within the loneliness that loss, anger and frustration often brings. Haven’t you? I think we’ve all experienced periods in life where we wake up in the morning, heavy with the responsibilities and pain of our current reality. The well-intended offers of sympathy feel hollow. They result in our feigned appreciation as we retreat into our unstable existences and our well-meaning family and friends proceed with their lives as usual. But right now—in the grief, uncertainty and frustration of this Covid-19 pandemic—we are not alone.
We are united in our circumstances. The empathy we express through our text messages and video chats is not based on memories of moments past but on our real-time simultaneous experiences. We share something very real with every person we love and every single stranger standing 6 feet away from us. We are all at the mercy of the same regulations. We are all tuned in to the same news cycles and are left with many of the same uncertainties as our plans and our futures are put on hold. Within this upheaval, we all belong.
You are not the only parent giving in to screen time, handing out snacks like you’re a human vending machine or shutting yourself in your bedroom for a moment of reprieve.
You are not the only couple struggling to find balance or maintain composure and patience amidst financial and emotional strain.
You are not the only teacher forging their way through new territory like an explorer in a forest with a machete you’ve never used before and a group of people waiting for your cleared path on the other side.
You are not the only nurse or doctor holding up the sick and comforting the dying.
You are not the only grandparents missing their hugs nor are you the only ones to meet their first or newest grandchild through a window.
You are not the only bride and groom forced to change or postpone your wedding plans—putting action behind the for better or for worse vows you have yet to share.
You are not the only person struggling to understand what this all means.
You are not the only human wondering if we are doing more harm than good.
You are not the only one who is afraid, bored, frustrated or any other emotion you might feel.
You are not alone.
This doesn’t minimize your own experience. It won’t make the daily grind of this easier or curb the disappointments. It certainly isn’t going to change the current reality. But there is an undeniable connection coursing through our communities and the world right now. Knowing we are in this together—knowing we are all impacted by the same crisis, the same information and the same precautionary measures—knowing there are millions of people living and breathing the same reality as you, makes surviving through these usually isolating emotions, much less lonely.
The world feels heavy right now. Don’t wake up every morning attempting to hold it up on your own. Connection and understanding exist in spades—enough for us to carry the weight of the world together. We are in this together.