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  • Writer's picturemichelledangmd

Grieving Life As We Know It

I hadn't realized it had been since May that I last wrote a post. Life has been a crazy blur in between working, maintaining some semblance of normalcy for my family, podcasting, posting on all the social media platforms.

I can't even remember which podcast I was recording, but I remember maybe about a month or so ago chatting with someone about a news article I kept seeing pop up on my social media feed about that feeling of grief in the time of COVID-19. I learned about the Kubler-Ross 5 stages of grief all the way back in high school:

  1. Denial

  2. Anger

  3. Bargaining

  4. Depression

  5. Acceptance

It feels like I'm somewhere in between the anger and the depression stage when it comes to this pandemic, and the stages fluctuate sometimes on a daily basis. And just when I think I've come close to acceptance, something else pops up and I go back into the anger phase.

School is set to start in just a few weeks, and it will be online. My son is starting middle school, and I grappled with what I was feeling initially when there was a choice of online versus in person school. I hear the frustration in parents' voices when they talk about how kids need social interaction and need to have that normalcy. I understand it. My son desperately needs some sort of normalcy.

But there is no normalcy in a pandemic.

I'm grieving life as we knew it pre-COVID (PC).


My weekly routine of teaching fitness on the weekends where a few of my friends would always show up so I could gleefully make them sweat

Seeing my parents and hugging them every other weekend

Going on runs with my running group (yes, I even miss that)

Planning trips with my friends and family

I miss these things without realizing how much of it I had taken for granted. I video chat and text my parents daily now - something I didn't do prior to the pandemic. I miss the human interaction and the serotonin release when I give and receive lots and lots of hugs.

Yesterday, I was sitting on the couch and scrolling through my social media feed when I noticed a picture pop up of someone I've worked with over the last 6 months. It stated that this person had passed due to complications from COVID-19. My entire body went numb and cold and my heart stopped. I was in disbelief; I had just talked to this person not more than a month ago. I had even made a mental note to reach out to this person. It just couldn't be true.

Yet it was. This person's life was lost due to this disease that is rampaging through the entire world. I grieve for this life and for so many that have been lost unnecessarily. I grieve for the life that we knew PC. I grieve for my son. I grieve for my parents. I grieve for the little things that we took for granted.

I waver through the anger and the depression. Anger at how different things could be "if we did this/that", anger at the spectrum of seemingly denial (1st stage of grief). Anger at just everything. Then I cycle through depression - because I am anxious at work, anxious when I do see my parents, anxious when I come home, anxious when I go to the grocery store. And then depressed because my friends and colleagues are all suffering through the same thing.

I try to stay positive because what else are we to do? But how can I be positive when I'm still continuing to grieve? The only way to the other side is through it. What is the process we are supposed to be trusting? I don't have the answers. I'm still grieving.

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