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Social Distancing in Grief

Social Distancing is new to some but is just another day to many grieving parents. To us, it has not necessarily been a voluntary social distancing but more of a solitary confinement. A placement in an isolation chamber in avoidance of the griever akin to placing us in timeout until our behavior improves. So as the country began the process of social distancing I just stayed in the house as usual. Amidst the panic, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of peace. I had already faced my worst nightmare so the chaos going on around didn't phase me. I am not shocked that this is happening- I live in a world where the unimaginable is likely. I live in a world where heartbreak exists and children die. I live in a world where I don't have the luxury of naivety to think that everything will work out in the end if we just think positive. This is an epidemic. Death is an epidemic. And death is coming for us all.

I see the nonchalant manner in which everyone talks about this pandemic, casually posting about tiring of your kids being at home when us grieving parents would "volunteer as Tribute" to catch the Corona Virus in exchange for just 1 more day with our kids. I would much rather have Corona Virus than be a grieving parent.

I am silently screaming as I scroll through the grief-stricken posts asking for prayers because kids may have to miss senior activities or not be able to socialize with their friends at school. "Pray for the seniors." Really? I understand that they may not get to go to prom or walk across the stage but let's keep things in perspective; they get to live, get married, have kids, and reminisce about the pandemic they survived. The key is the precautions taken will ensure they survive. I never thought Sudden Cardiac Arrest would have been a big enough issue to rock my world but it did. And I'll tell you from experience you would much rather be cautious than live the rest of your life with regret knowing that your child could have been saved. There is so much suffering that exists in this world. Not going to prom cannot be equated to suffering.

And before you say I'm being insensitive ask yourself if it was insensitive when people quoted "God is in control" to me. Yes He is in control but that doesn't make it hurt any less. Keeping things in perspective will help every senior understand that things could be worse. I wish my son could be here and miss prom or graduation but still live! Pray for the seniors? How about we pray for those who have been infected with this virus? Or for the seniors who never saw senior year? How about we pray for the parents who've celebrated as many angel dates as they did earthly birth dates. How about we teach the seniors about empathy rather than entitlement? How about we pray with the seniors for families who are suffering around the world? Not just from Corona Virus but from rebel attacks and child loss?

I am grateful that there are people who have no idea what it feels like to need a prayer answered with every ounce of your soul. I would never wish this pain on anyone else. I'm glad that people are able to find levity in it all. That's not a luxury that a grieving parent has- levity and death cannot exist in the same sentence. Thank God that people can complain about things that many of us wish could be our main concern of the day. My son is gone. And the things that others complain about would be a welcome alternative to this burden I must carry. Whenever the grief gets too heavy I self quarantine and in actuality I have been self quarantined quite a bit lately. This whole year has been like a self quarantine... and no one checks on the sick and shut in. People have kept their distance as if what I have is as contagious as the Corona Virus. They go on with their lives around me as if they don't see my affliction. Laughing, joking, posting as if what I have is just a hoax or an over-exaggerated ploy for attention. I don't desire attention. What I want is to hold my son in my arms again. But the life of this world won't allow it. So I carry my grief with me waiting for the day that my quarantine will be over and I will hold my child for eternity. The peace that resides in my heart will forever guide my journey to live out the purpose that God ordained. All the struggle, all the pain will be worth it in the end when our souls reconnect eternally.

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