We all know that life gives us choices.

Early on we learned that choosing one thing always means leaving some other thing behind.

But what if you have a big extended family and the latest CoVid rules say that you can only be in close contact with 10 people? What if you have to choose which grandchildren to hug and which ones to stay 6 feet away from? CoVid has given birth to Choices that we grieve having to make.

Like choosing to amputate a limb, in order to save a life, there isn’t always a Good Third Option.  Sometimes we just have to choose and then grieve.

There is no doubt that social distancing has been hard and the evidence seems to suggest that it has been working. So, what do you do when the people you love are spread far and wide and don’t exist in the same Hug-10 pods?     

We all need touch but we also need to limit how many people we touch right now and making the choice between one child and another is every parent’s nightmare. Choosing between grandchildren, somehow seems even harder…

How do you explain Contact-Tracing to a 5-year-old, when so many adults don’t even understand it?

Most often the grief in our life comes from things Other than Death. Like watching the hurt and confusion in a young child’s eyes.     

In spite of what some would tell you, just because something is not a life or death issue, does not stop our heart from breaking. It does not stop us from mourning when we long to hug a child who must stay out of reach and it does not stop the regret we feel, that CoVid has forced us to make such horrible choices.

We don’t hurt each other on purpose. But sometimes we do hurt each other and when we do, our hearts ache with regret over it. If there had been a better way available to us, we would have taken it. It just wasn’t there.

And so, we are left with sorrow and regret… and we grieve. Be gentle with yourself over these choices. If there had been another safe way, you would have taken it. Bombarding yourself with the logic of it all, will not negate the pain you feel.

Admit to yourself – if no one else, how hard and awful it was to choose. Admit that it hurts and the hurt can begin to heal.

Written by Catherine Mitchell, Certified Grief Recovery Specialist serving the Durham Region.