I know I’m not the only person on this planet feeling relieved to close the book on 2021. In fact, I could probably "get an Amen" to that in regard to 2020 as well. Goodbye and go away. Burn the calendars.
If only it were that simple.
I’ve heard it called The Great Disruption. Friends and family have been using the term “it’s a lot” when discussing just about anything having to do with anything since March 2020. The concept of “collective trauma” hangs from one of the clothes lines in my mind, swaying in a cockeyed sort of way, calling for my attention.
“Not now, not yet” I think. "Let me deal with my own trauma first."
But is it "my own trauma"? Am I truly alone in this? On one level, yes. Every one of us have experienced this pandemic in our own unique way, similar to grief actually. No two stories the same. We're all half-jacked (some more, some less) by the events of the past two years. Each. All. Does it matter? The clothes lines get tangled.
I realize that I will have work to do in the future in response to this Great Disruption - most likely in the form of more than a few therapy sessions. And in my particular fashion, probably some EMDR thrown in for spice. Another colloquialism hangs on the line, pins clipped neatly to the rope: “It is what it is”.
Indeed. And as I bravely venture onto shaky ground, feet tentatively inching forward, hands reaching like a drunk holding onto walls, I grasp for stability. For safety and peace. (In the midst of the recent holiday season - and the tumult of my sadness - these elements have been elusive.)
Then the self-talk kicks in: unsubscribe to all news, anchor into your body, stay home, ride this last wave, meditate, stop being ridiculous, live your life, hide in God, settle yourself down!
Instead of peace, I look down to see white knuckles, and feel the deep tension seizing my neck and shoulders. How did it get to this? The answer, in a burst of clarity, waves forth like an oversized flag snapping on the wind:
Yes, the Great Disruption of a global pandemic has definitely been “a lot.” It’s even brought all the old insecurities front and center. But your fear and anxiety aren't only due to that, my friend. You have experienced a greater disruption - the Greatest Disruption - the loss of your child. The loss of family as you knew it. The loss of motherhood as you knew it. And that, my dear, is more than ‘a lot’. That has the potential to stretch beyond endurance.
Truer words were never thought.
To those of you suffering the loss of a child or grandchild, hold steady. We'll get through it together. They're ok, and you're going to be okay.