I had a moment last week.
It was a nice day and I was sitting outside reading. Usually, I would feel guilty sitting and reading in the middle of the day. But on that day, instead of feeling guilty, I paused and took a deep breath. I felt content. I felt peaceful. I thought to myself “I could get used to this. This feels like a healthy pace for our family.”
I had a moment of acceptance.
It was the moment that I (we) was working so hard to experience.
It was worth all the hard work.
I am beginning to accept the fact that I cannot work right now and probably won’t for a while.
I am beginning to accept the fact that my kids will not go back to school and will be home with me every day for 4 more months.
I am beginning to accept the fact that I can’t meet my friends for coffee, go to the gym or go to Target without a mask.
I am beginning to accept the fact that sports have been canceled, events have been postponed and places of entertainment have shut down.
I am beginning to accept my new reality and I am starting to see it’s beauty.
And because of that, I feel like I can finally take a deep breath.
I don’t want to make it sound like every moment since then has been peaceful and full of joy. As I mentioned early on in this journey, grief is not linear. I still have moments of depression. I am still trying to control my boundaries. I still have moments where I want to retreat to denial and believe that none of this is real. I have dreams about Covid-19 and I wake up hoping it’s all just a bad dream.
But because I have worked hard and have had glimpses of the peace acceptance brings, I don’t stay in those previous phases of grief very long. I’m lured back to the place of acceptance by the comfort that it brings.
I have spent most of my life trying to fight against and control my reality. As I have mentioned many times, so much has happened to me that I fiercely fight to secure any sense of control I can. It took me 16 years after my Liver transplant to finally accept what happened to me. When I did that, I truly became a new person. The Lisa that God created began to resurface again.
I have never been so relieved.
Feeling the need to control everything is a heavy burden to bear. One I was never designed to carry.
You aren’t either.
That is the reason I have been writing and sharing about grief during Covid-19. I want you to learn from my mistakes. I don’t want you to have to wait 16 years, 16 months or even 16 extra days to come to place of acceptance of the new reality Covid-19 has thrust upon us. Striving to control what is out of your control is fruitless and exhausting.
So let’s keep working.
It starts by being aware. Are you reacting in a disproportionate way to a situation? Do you find yourself lashing out for no good reason? Are you struggling to get out of bed?
Name it. Name the emotion that you are experiencing. Let your reactions be your teacher.
Claim it. Declare it. Own it. Naming your emotions and recognizing that they stem from a place of grief will greatly accelerate your healing.
Give it a space and a place.
Do you need to just vent? Find a safe person you can vent to.
Do you need to go to bed? Go to bed.
Give it to Jesus. He knows anyway. He created grief as a pathway to healing. Invite him into your process. Lay your emotions before him and surrender.
Then move on. Do the next thing you need to do. You have given the emotion the space and place it needs, it’s time to move on – whether you feel like it or not!
Then do it all over again.
And again. And again. And again.
And then soon, before you know it, you will be sitting outside on a nice day and you will find yourself taking a deep breath. You will feel grateful. You will realize that all your hard work was worth it for this moment.
The moment of acceptance.
Because there is more,