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the write to cry

Seven months ago I wrote a blog post about the absurd (because at the time, that’s what it seemed like) day I had tracking down a package of toilet paper for my mother-in-law (now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d see myself write). Six months ago I wrote about what it’s like to have my husband teaching his college business-law classes from home (go ahead, ask me anything about torts). Four months ago, my post was a chronicle to banana bread because that’s all I was baking for weeks (now I can’t look at the stuff without gagging). Two months ago? My tribute to our new way of being in the “same” room with old friends — the Zoom session. All trying-to-be-light observations about the ominous times we are in.

Last month, I beyond sadly wrote about the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the woman in whom so many of our hopes were invested. A trying-to-remember-her-light observation during the ominous times we are in.

To say it’s been a long seven months is, of course, an understatement. To those who have suffered themselves, whether it is by falling ill with the virus or by losing someone you love to it, my heart breaks for you, and I can only wish you the physical and emotional healing you so dearly need.

It occurs to me that one of the hardest things about this time is how suddenly our normal lives were taken away from all of us. Losing our way of life seems grief-worthy in its own way. In trying to process the changes, in trying to deal with the uncertainty, in attempting to get from day to day without feeling like the world is ending, I realize that maybe we need to process this loss by going through some of the traditional stages of grieving — including sadness, denial, and anger — before we can reach a place of acceptance.

Not acceptance of the situation as it is (because it is so not okay), but acceptance that it’s all right to feel horrible some days. Acceptance that we can hope to get through this (even though that sometimes feels like an impossibly tall order). Acceptance that it’s okay to feel crappy about it all — and, through that, hopefully, find the fortitude to keep on going.

“Good grief,” said everyone’s favorite round-headed kid. Maybe what’s good about the collective grieving process is that it helps us see more clearly what’s important, what’s essential, and what we’re made of.

In that spirit, make someone’s day. Make someone laugh. Make someone a banana bread (just not me).

And make a difference. Vote.

© 2020 Claudia Grossman

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