People are feeling a number of emotions right now, especially with the holidays upon us. This time of year can be a difficult time for people, especially for those that have experienced loss, and COVID-19 has only made it more difficult. When speaking of loss this year, we’re not only referring to family members and loved ones, but also regular routines, careers/jobs, homes, resources, and access. The world looks a little different than the world we were used to back in early 2020. Individuals and families in our community have had to pivot to accommodate the harsh reality that many are facing. Whether it is feeling a loss of connectivity, losing the ability to engage in meaningful activities with others, or having increased amount anxiety and fear caused by the unknown and everchanging environment COVID-19 has brought. Given the grief that the world is facing today, we must become mindful that although we are all experiencing this pandemic together, many of us have unique stories and might be impacted in different ways.
Understanding the stages of grief is essential. These stages aren’t linear and may not happen in order, either. Denial is a common stage, especially in reference to COVID-19. Aside from denial, there is anger, bargaining, sadness, and then acceptance. It’s safe to say that we are all under one of these stages of grief. When we find a sense of control and are able to move forward knowing the changes and challenges that we still will have to face, we have finally reached acceptance. This does not mean that we are accepting the struggles that pandemic has caused, it simply means that we are able to take account of things that are within our control, such as practicing the 3 W’s (wear a mask, wash your hands, wait six (6) feet apart). Acceptance may mean that, yes we are not able to be together in person, but we are able to use technology to connect with each other and ensure we maximize our safety. Acceptance may mean that even though our day-to-day events look different, we do what we can to make the best of those days. The PACE of the Southern Piedmont Team is grieving with you and we are here to support you during these challenging and stressful times. Stay healthy, stay well, and best wishes for a happy holiday season.