One of our favorite things to do as we are on our morning bike ride and walk is to find our shadows and watch how they change as we turn onto new roads and the sun rises higher. As we were walking the other morning, I found our shadows seemed to be everywhere. Their presence was prominent in a way that reminded me of all the things that we are carrying right now as we mark six months of this new life.
Tara Haelle recently wrote about this as we try to find our equilibrium:
The destruction is, for most people, invisible and ongoing. So many systems aren’t working as they normally do right now, which means radical shifts in work, school, and home life that almost none of us have experience with.
A shadow we can’t ignore. A shadow following us as we try to walk paths we thought we knew.
David Kessler, the world’s most renown voice on grief describes it this way:
Yes, and we’re feeling a number of different griefs. We feel the world has changed, and it has. We know this is temporary, but it doesn’t feel that way, and we realize things will be different. Just as going to the airport is forever different from how it was before 9/11, things will change and this is the point at which they changed. The loss of normalcy; the fear of economic toll; the loss of connection. This is hitting us and we’re grieving. Collectively. We are not used to this kind of collective grief in the air.
A shadow of grief. Shadows of grief merging together in long and intertwining ways that make our steps heavier.
Kirsten Weir says this:
As the pandemic has evolved, people have had to confront a series of losses: The loss of a sense of safety, of social connections and personal freedoms, of jobs and financial security. Going forward, people will experience new losses we can’t yet predict.
Robert Neimeyer, PhD, the director for Portland Institute of Loss and Transition says:
We’re talking about grieving a living loss — one that keeps going and going.
A shadow that we can’t escape. A shadow that follows us wherever we go. A shadow that keeps showing up reminding us our lives have changed and our lives are changing.
And so we keep walking on the paths that we thought we knew discovering new revelations and new depths of our strength.