Commentary by Lorene Burkhart
We have learned during the past year that grieving applies to more than the loss of a loved one. We grieve because our routines are upset. We grieve because we don’t have access to friends or family. We grieve because we are required to work remotely and we miss our office life. We grieve because our children are upset by their change in routine. We grieve when we can’t visit friends or family when they are hospitalized.
As I reviewed high school essays for a competition (the assigned topic was how the past year has affected them) I was saddened by the trauma expressed. How deeply they had been hurt by the loss of social interaction, ability to attend school activities and classes and loss of counseling services that could help them deal with their trauma.
Grief is a form of disruption, full of surprises. It can affect all parts of our body, causing us to lose track of ourselves and our emotions. Grief is the internal experience of loss that we express through mourning.
We may experience anxiety that starts with our thoughts and emotions but unchecked, it may express itself in our bodies. We may feel excessively tired, disinterested in activities that brought us joy in the past.
Healing starts with acknowledging that we need help. Learning to meditate and to reach out where help is offered is a good start to feeling better.