With few exceptions, most of us have lived lives of relative predictability.
Even though we knew, somewhere in the back of our brains, that accidents and illness could happen, the risks seemed small and the hazards familiar enough that we blithely assumed they wouldn’t happen to us. Although these boogeymen lived in our closets, we told ourselves that they would never get free. And then came CoVid.
Unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before, CoVid hit everyone at once and it changed the world in ways both big and small. Suddenly, people all over the world were scared, bored, outraged and grieving and even though a few of us are comfortable talking about grief, many more aren’t.
Folks who grew up hearing things like: “If you’re still alive, be grateful” often find it challenging to admit anything but happy feelings and that challenge seems to double when it comes to admitting feelings about things that might seem trivial to others.
Maybe you miss coffee with friends, or browsing in the mall or some other small daily activity. How can you admit to grieving that, when you have friends who are in hospital, or who have loved ones in hospital they can’t get in to see?
Your discomfort is understandable. Your grief is real and so is your discomfort about admitting it. So, instead of challenging that discomfort, what if we nudge in close, without exactly claiming that big word? What if you admit to feeling griefish?
Last month, in an article for medium.com, May Pang wrote about the ways that life has changed and how we need new words for the new versions of normal that we are experiencing. When you are safe from harm but don’t feel great she suggests that we call this new state CoVish.
What if we expand on May’s idea and build the vocabulary we need?
CoVish for when we’re feeling sorta, okayish, but not really ourselves.
Griefish for when we are feeling the loss of small, seemingly insignificant things.
There could be a Lonelyish. Tiredish. What about Boredish?
Whatever you’re feeling these days, being true to yourself is important. Use whatever words you need, to describe where you’re at. When you allow yourself to admit what you’re feeling, moving through it is always easier.
In the coming days, try telling someone that you’re feeling CoVish or Boredish. Most of us are and a good giggle over a new word might help to ease this heaviness we’re feeling.
Some of us are feeling Griefish.
No matter what you’re feeling, be gentle with yourself.
We’re gonna get through this. Togetherish.
Written by Catherine Mitchell, Certified Grief Recovery Specialist serving the Durham Region.