Grief & Gratitude
Well, earlier this week, I felt like I was finally getting a handle on this whole social distancing thing. I had finally found a fairly good rhythm and flow to my new reality of living in this time of Covid-19. After Governor Walz gave his shelter at home order, which officially begins tonight of course, I ran an errand to the grocery store and had to laugh at a quote I had remembered, and even written down. This is by James Lileks who writes a humor column for the Star Tribune: “Going to the grocery store, which used to be the most normal thing in the world to do, now feels like you’re spelunking in the Chernobyl reactor!” (I’ve found that reading him and anything else humorous is a helpful diversion these days.)
All of us are in some stage of grief over things that have been lost; over things that have changed so drastically. And we’re in various stages of worry and anxiety over the troubles that have come our way, either financially or socially or otherwise. Do know that it is pretty natural and human to experience grief these days over all that has changed over the past few weeks, and will still change in the next few weeks. We are all mourning that which has been lost so quickly. So it is all the more important to make sure we’re doing the important work of identifying and understanding all that we do have to be grateful for. My daughter has encouraged me toward making a daily list, especially before bed, if I can. Each day, I’m trying to name one thing I’m grateful for about me…and then about a loved one in the house with me…and then a third thing that is more random and can be about anything in the whole wide universe. Once you start that practice, it is infectious (pardon the metaphor) and it is also such a helpful exercise in keeping your attention on the bigger picture. Gratitude certainly helps mitigate grief. Plus, there is much to be thankful for, even and especially in a time of great flux.
And then here’s one other encouragement: be intentional about taking an action. Think about something you can do. A difference you still can make today. A kindness you can show, or a loving gesture you can reveal. All of us have had our worlds shrink to a much more confined space than we are used too. But they still are our ‘worlds’ in which to live and move and breathe, and there is a great deal we yet can do within such confines. I pray that you all continue to be well, and continue to stay strong. And though I cannot see you in church soon, I sure do look forward to that day when we will!