covid-19

Real

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I sent a text pleading today. Standing on the fading back porch, I typed with tears in my eyes.

“I already lost a parent, I don’t want to lose you too.”

The black letters clicked as my fingers pressed into the digital screen.

My thumbs seemed numb, typing heavily as emotion welled in my chest.

I could have picked up the phone, but hiding behind typing and screens felt safer.

Grief slipped between my sentences as I passed my Covid anxiety from my gut to the pocket where his cell phone lingered.

Crying in the kitchen, Dylan hugged me this afternoon and I whimpered, “I just don’t want to lose anyone else.”

On Instagram, and blogs, and videos across the world grief experts are sharing comfort, perspective, and expertise for those new to loss. Coping mechanisms creep up in posts and in video chats and healthy ways to channel our triggers seem to zip in the spaces connecting us on the internet. As someone who writes extensively about my experience with life after loss, I’ve been wondering and waiting for epiphanies to come.

What wisdom can I share to help the newly bereaved? The same lessons apply to the panicked, the hurting, the newly unemployed? What responsibility do I have as an “influencer” who is using personal pain to help guide others?

I’ve stayed quiet because I don’t have much.

I return to the basics and I encourage myself and others to find comfort.

Soothe yourself with warm blankets and cups of tea. Splurge for the brand-name tissues as you wipe your eyes. Light a candle. Nourish yourself. Take a slow walk around your neighborhood. Wear a mask.

And today, when my own imagined panic crept in like fog moving over the mountains, I let the wave consume me. I felt the overflow of emotion leak up out from my chest and onto the laminate floor.

My grief wounds drip fresh with the fear of loss not yet real.

I imagine thousands around the world are feeling the same.

Rather than whisper antidotes and remedies, tonight I give permission.

I’m not an influencer. I’m a human living an experience of life after loss. I finger my scars and I breathe deeply and remember I am human, prone to loss and intense experiences in an aching world.

I give myself beautiful permission to live in this uncomfortable, seemingly horrible space.

I give you permission to ask for a hug. To send pleading text messages and grace for the tears sure to fall. I welcome the beauty found in the permission to accept a warm embrace, even if the arms wrapped around your shoulders are your own.

Pandemic life is scary and hard. The fog licks our fingers and faces and leaves a chill in our bones.

Give yourself the beautiful permission to feel all of this. To weep in the kitchen. To send the texts and express your love and ask for what you need.

At the end of the day, I only want to influence real.

Real is beautiful.

Day 7 – 52 Good Things

How did today go for you?

I had a small panic in my gut when deciding if we should venture out to Home Depot for a project. Both me and my husband froze. We know we aren’t hiding from zombies and we want to be wise. I texted a friend and wonderfully, they had what we needed. We traded cookies for paint rollers, got to send elbow bumps their way, and spent some time in the front yard after dropping goodies off on porches and waving see ya’ soon.

They keep saying the worst is yet to come and I hate to dwell on that thought.

Maybe it’s true. I’m hoping people are staying inside, loving their people, and using FaceTime or What’sApp (free on all phones) to stay connected. As we head into week two, know I’m thinking of the magnitude of all of this and the beautiful moments we can still find and create.

Like (40) bubbles in Sourdough starters and (41) live cooking classes via FaceTime with my mom.

Here are a few more good things. I can’t wait to see what good you’ve got happening in your homes, on your screens, and in your connections. Even STILL.

As a reminder, send me a note with the good in your world at 52beautifulthings at gmail dot com or a DM on Instagram. Keep em’ comin.


42) Watching a church service online while texting a friend watching the same service.

43) People maintaining social distancing- and not complaining about it.

44) Prayer chains

45) Recommendation from a friend to listen to music by Sherri Youngward. (check her out on Spotify or her website. You’ll be glad you did.)

(42 – 45) submitted by Suzanne M.

46) Baking bread from scratch

47) Planning the garden and starting seeds

48) Playing with the dog in the yard

49) Testing new recipes (with adjustments for the ingredients you’re missing 😆)

* 45-49 submitted by Tegan P.

Who will round out our first list of 52 Good Things?