Today’s post comes from Jen Murphy, Manager of Retreat & Events at the Center. She misses her coworkers, presenters and guests and looks forward to being together again. Let’s take a few minutes to read Jen’s thoughts about the sense of loss that we’ve all been feeling during the pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic, I often hear people describing their feelings as ‘weird’ and something that they can’t quite figure out how to express. It’s understandable. We’ve never been through anything like this before. We are all experiencing some level of trauma.
As I’ve read articles from mental health professionals, the common theme seems to be that what we’re really feeling is loss and we just can’t wrap our heads around this type of grief. For those of us fortunate to still have our jobs, healthy loved ones and comfortable homes to shelter in, it may feel frivolous to think of ourselves as being in a state of grief. Yes, compared to many things happening in our world today, these may be “little” losses, but they are losses nonetheless. If we deny these feelings of loss can we really cope and receive the peace that God can offer?
So, it is important to acknowledge what we’re grieving…
Maybe you’re missing the physical presence of loved ones. Maybe you’re missing a special vacation. Or it could be something as small as missing the ability to shop without face masks so that we can smile at strangers at the grocery store. Maybe you’re grieving the loss of touch – the absence of hugs or a handshake. Maybe you are feeling helpless about the many acts of social injustice in our world and the inability to act from home.
Maybe you’re feeling sadness over your loved one’s losses too. Maybe you’re grieving your child or grandchild’s longing for their classroom, friends and teachers. Maybe your heart is broken about the loneliness of a loved one in a nursing home. Maybe you’re feeling sad about a neighbor who has missed out on their high school or college graduation. Maybe you feel heavy about a friend’s pending medical procedure and the additional risks that COVID-19 carries.
Some of these may seem like little losses for us personally, but they are all real losses. All of this can weigh on you more than you realize.
In addition to our prayers for victims of the Coronavirus and racial injustice, let’s acknowledge our personal losses today. By lifting these losses and worries to God we have the ability to feel lighter and to care for ourselves. The Holy Spirit can be welcomed in to offer comfort and peace. Let’s pray about our losses together…
Come and shine the rays of your healing light into the depths of my being.
Expose the darkness of my wounds, my brokenness and my buried emotions – my anger, anxiety and sorrow.
Give me the courage to acknowledge them and hand them over to your loving care.
Gentle Spirit, I thirst for your healing as an arid desert thirsts for rain.
Take the little deaths I have suffered and transform them into new life.
Take my pain and transform it into the power to serve you and to proclaim your goodness to
~ Nancy Bevenga
(from Lead, Kindly Light, the Notre Dame Book of Prayers)