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This lockdown happened soon after my father passed away. And now my mother is alone in India in her grief, and us far away, back in the US, leaving me seriously worried for her.
Talking to my mom never sounded this morbid before, given the abysmal state of affairs. Even my son was instructing her to take care, stay at home and stay safe. He told her that elderly people are dying from this virus while younger ones are safe. That clearly shows his concern and that how painfully he is aware about the current situation.
The outbreak of coronavirus has sent a shockwave across the world leaving us crippled with fear, panic and anxiety. One raging pandemic and a myriad of human miseries. There is a general feeling of discomfort, which arises from a sense of loss; loss of normalcy, loss of freedom, loss of jobs, loss of safety and loss of connection with those who we love.
We all surely have stories to share about our lives of this crisis phase.
This is my personal anecdote of how my grief and sorrows got amplified during this unsettling and tumultuous time. I lost my dad last month and it seemed like my life fell apart and I lost a part of myself.
On getting the dreaded news, we had to rush to India where I stayed for a month with my family there. While coping with the deep sorrow and grief that were inflicted upon us by this inevitable life event, we tried to fill the void and emptiness left behind by his death with our close relatives, friends and support network.
Then came the coronavirus pandemic with the subsequent lockdown, self-isolation, travel ban etc. which upended almost every element and emotion of our life. It has also changed the way we grieve for the dead and the way we process traumatic experiences.
I came back to the US before the outbreak but my mother’s travel to US to stay with us is in jeopardy.
My sadness index has gone through the roof following a series of unfortunate events like death and the coronavirus crisis. My dad’s death is still hanging in the air. It is not easy to get over sorrow and trauma and get into the swing of things so quickly.
This harrowing outbreak has spelt miseries upon us and it occurred in a time when I was personally reeling under the pain and grief from losing my father. This lockdown has thrust upon us an atomized and isolated life, which is far from normal. It came in my life when socializing, routine outdoor activities and recreational aspects was much needed to stay afloat and to ease my pain and agony.
When I go to bed every night my heart aches, my eyes well up thinking about my dad, and then every morning we start our day on a negative note of death and suffering from the coronavirus on a daily basis. Living in a place which is the epicenter of the outbreak only deepens fear and stress, which coupled with my personal grief can be wearing and exhausting. On one hand I am in the process of grieving my father’s death, on the other hand, I am carrying the burden imposed upon me by this critical time.
In the midst of this morbid cacophony, finding inner peace is bit of a challenge. I am trying to calm down my nervous self to stay sane by finding coping strategies and tools that are helping me navigate this stressful time. I am seeking solace in pen and paper, books and music.
As I choose to stay positive and fear free, I remind myself, ‘life is the sum of all your choices’, a quote by Camus. Amidst a mish-mash of emotions, I tend to gravitate towards the eerie silence and bizarre emptiness that this time has created to find meaning even in the darkest phase of life. It’s my time to introspect deeply and turn inward. Reading Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s books is helping me in a big way to understand grief and the stages of grieving.
Try to feel what you are feeling, if you feel sad, feel the sadness because your body and mind are creating that feeling. Besides being soaked in sorrows I am also reminiscing about my past, my childhood and browsing through my memories. I believe what you seek is you get; the universe answers. I am seeking my refuge and anchors in this darkest of times.
I am holding out hope that these shall pass too. And at the end of it we surely will emerge as more resilient, tolerant, compassionate and faithful beings. There is always so much to learn and unlearn too from any crisis. This one will also bring a new perspective to all of our lives.
Image source: pixabay
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