It dawned on me the other day that what I am experiencing during the coronavirus lock down feels a lot like when my father died. And it’s true – as the corona crisis takes its toll it’s becoming clearer that we are experiencing a collective grief.
With grief comes deep pain, persistent sadness, and even anger. These emotions seem to combine in successive waves that have the ability to knock you down. Being aware of what’s happening is essential to being able to pick back up. And complicating things is that our grief is for things that have already happened as well as things we are anticipating in the future.
In this interview David Kessler, author of several books about grief, talks about the types of grief, the stages of grief, and how to find meaning in your experience:
We’re feeling a number of different griefs. We feel the world has changed, and it has. We know this is temporary, but it doesn’t feel that way, and we realize things will be different. Just as going to the airport is forever different from how it was before 9/11, things will change and this is the point at which they changed. The loss of normalcy; the fear of economic toll; the loss of connection. This is hitting us and we’re grieving. Collectively. We are not used to this kind of collective grief in the air.
It’s also important to understand how grief affects health and weight, and why it’s important to go easy on yourself while in a period of grieving.