By Larry Dawalt, M.Div., BCC, Senior Director of Spiritual & Grief Care Services
I am not the only one who is tired- especially when I think of some of our grieving survivors. . .
Some days I feel like I have just had enough. I am tired of ‘eating groceries’ instead of going out, I am tired of wearing a mask, I want to be closer to people than six feet away, and I would really like to hug my grandchildren or even just see them since it’s been over a year now for the boys in Texas, since the spring trip got cancelled. I can think of other things I’m tired of. I can go on and on and on. Then, I catch myself. Whining. Ungrateful. I am making it all about me. But I am not the only one who is tired- especially when I think of some of our grieving survivors.
I know one who is tired of not having her husband around. She has so many important items on her ‘to-do’ list and doesn’t have the physical strength, nor the emotional and mental energy to get things done. She is facing more than one surgery and weeks of convalescent time- alone, without him. The list isn’t going away. It’s actually getting longer. But it wouldn’t be that way if he had not died. She alone. She’s scared. She’s tired.
Two other women come to mind that are tired. They are tired of suddenly being thrust into the role of a single parent of young children. They need their ‘co-tutor, co-driver, co-parent, co-everything, etc.’ to be by their side during these difficult days. But their husbands are gone; and gone too soon.
A wonderful hospice volunteer comes to mind who couldn’t be at the assisted living facility when her mother died because of the pandemic. She’s tired of wondering why things happened that way and she can’t stop thinking about it- day after day.
I am a survivor, too, and even though it’s been over two years now, every now and then I am reminded that I am tired of not being able to call up my Dad to see if he cut the grass today, or if he heard the owl last night, or if he found an auction to go to and look for treasures on Saturday. I feel better when those thoughts come because I am beginning to whine about something permanent instead of the things that are probably not going to last.
This year has brought about a lot of changes. The world is different than it was just six months ago, and not just from the pandemic. There is so much unrest and volitivity. Times are difficult for millions. In the midst of this, there are those who are also experiencing fresh grief and spending their days discovering the harsh realities and sufferings of unbearable loss. They need texts, emails, visits, calls, cards, hugs and other forms of contact, but are instead dealing with their losses in isolation, or with minimal support.
So, if you have times when you feel like whining, go ahead and do it. I understand. But set a timer; and when the timer goes off, make a call, send a card, whisper a thought or prayer, bake cookies and set them on the doorstep, text or email- whatever it takes to leap outside of yourself and into the world of those who are coping with loss during this difficult time.
And for you who are trying so desperately to cope with your grief, please know that you are not alone. Reach out- to family, to friends, to us at Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region. We’ll be tired together.