Living through this year has felt like being pecked to death by chickens.

One small peck at a time, each painful but not fatal… each one, wearing us down a little bit more.

At first, we thought that things were only going to be disrupted for two weeks… and then a few… and now we know that we don’t know how long it will take for this virus to pass… and knowing that we don’t know, is scary. In a world that normally runs on plans and schedules, living in limbo is unnerving.

Anyone who has ever lived through a sudden accident or illness will tell you that life often turns on a dime.  Most of us have gotten really good at ignoring that fact, or at least expecting it to apply to “the other guy”.  CoVid changed all that. CoVid stood up in the face of our economy and all the very important things that we thought we had to do and CoVid said: “Stop” and we did. Everyone, all at once.

The world is grieving.

Not only are we grieving the loss of people who have died but the loss of small freedoms that we used to take for granted. We are grieving the loss of the certainty that we used to think we had, when we thought we knew what tomorrow was going to bring. We’ve lost the peace of mind that comes from believing that your health is guaranteed, as long as you exercise and eat right.

People all over the world have coped with losses in their own individual ways, each telling themselves that CoVid was a temporary problem and that the crisis would pass soon. But as we look towards the end of 2020, we see children going back to school and millions of people being thrust into situations where it’s likely that the virus will be shared and spread.

There is a new fear in the air.

Because now we know what a lockdown is like and we know that another may be coming and we know that it isn’t in our immediate power to stop it. All we can do is wear our masks and keep our distances, and follow the advice of experts as it becomes available. here is no guarantee when this will end. Or how it will affect the people we love.   And so, we grieve.

We’ve been taught that grief is the tidal wave that overcomes us when a loved one dies and that’s true.  But it’s also, the pain that comes when established patterns change, when dreams die and when life as we knew it, stops being predictable. Like being pecked to death by chickens, CoVid has brought us one small change, one new rule, one new restriction, one new thing to get used to every time we turn around.

Be gentle with yourselves in the coming weeks.

Grieving hearts need care and a lot of extra sleep.

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