Last night, someone commented on our social media page, that we should “save your ‘great sadness’” for the people who are dying and for our new reality. I immediately deleted the comment and would have left it at that, but it troubled me for one very large reason. COVID-19 is not the only thing going on in the world right now, our lives have not come to a complete halt because of it.
I’m not saving my sadness, I’m spending it, there is plenty to go around. I’ve never been one to grieve the dead, I grieve the living and their pain. While the people we honor may not be losing someone to COVID-19, they lost someone. They are entitled to grieve their loss and the loss of the events that bring them comfort regardless of what else is going on. We are all grieving the loss of something right now and it doesn’t have to be a person. It doesn’t have to be pushed aside or forgotten because of COVID-19.
We still have bills to pay, children to care for, and many still go to work. People continue to die from cancer, car accidents, domestic violence, child abuse and suicide. We still have plenty of sadness to go around, it’s not just reserved for COVID-19 and the changes it has brought. Last month, members of Blue H.E.L.P. and the families who lost officers to suicide, were interviewed for news stories which are now on hold because the reporters “don’t want it to get lost in COVID-19 news”. It shouldn’t get lost; it should be in addition to. There are still many things going on in our country today, many people suffering and dying that still need our attention. If these other things are getting lost in the COVID-19 news, it’s because someone is choosing to report only on COVID-19, other news is not being reported.
Everything that was here before COVID-19 will still be here when it’s gone, maybe worse because we neglected it. We can take a break, go home and wait to see what happens. I’ve certainly considered it. It’s okay if you do, some people will in order to survive emotionally. It’s also okay to stay and keep your personal mission, whatever it may be, going so people continue to receive help. Regardless of your choice, it’s your choice. Try to live without guilt, anger or fear of judgement. It’s extremely hard not to judge others who make different choices than us but it’s something we must try. If we put aside everything else but COVID-19, what do we have left? We have nothing. We have no love, joy, hope or laughter. Save none of your emotions, spend them freely.