Going Through the Steps
Taking a departure from my usual teens/twenties post to discuss the anxiety many of us are feeling…
No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.C.S. Lewis
The whole nation — the whole world! — is going through something it hasn’t felt on such a large scale in a long time. A mass period of fear, uncertainty, and grief.
It feels a bit like World War Three, except we are fighting a disease this time. There have been other times like this — the polio epidemic, Black Death, large scale flu outbreaks – but not in our children’s recent memory (or even ours, though we lived through H1N1 and SARS).
I woke one morning this week, after not sleeping well again, and felt God say to me “Name it.”
“Name your fears, then give them to me.”
I’ve been in denial mode, to be honest. Laughing at the funny memes, rolling my eyes at the Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020, doing the things that needed to be done but pushing through.
So it comes out in my dreams and my sleeping habits… Staying up too late scanning news or avoiding news by watching Netflix shows.
In nursing school, I learned there are five stages of grief and loss – this was proposed by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying.
It was first believed by Mrs. Kubler-Ross that these are linear – we go through them one at a time. Now we know that we may not go through them step by step. We may even skip some, then something may “trigger” us to bring us right back to the beginning. Grief varies from situation to situation and from person to person.
The truth is that right now we are anxious and we are grieving. Grieving Normal. Grieving plans that will not happen now. Grieving trips, graduations, and weddings! We are grieving with people we don’t even know who have died. We are sad for families separated, the elderly isolated alone, and businesses going down the drain. Until I can acknowledge my own issues, I can’t help my kids through theirs.
After listing them, on paper, I then prayed over them. I released them into the hands of the Ancient of Days, the One who knows the ending as well as the beginning. The One who grieves with us, even while He whispers, “I’ve got you. Trust me.”
You can follow me on Instagram where today I am discussing a photochallenge for next week, #coronablessings — play along!
My online writing mentor talked about “naming it” and how it does our soul good in her podcast episode 15, “Naming the Narrative”.