- Mary-Sue Cowell
October has historically been a difficult month for me. It is the month I lost my mom, 25 years ago. Although that much time has passed it still hurts and tears are still shed. October gives way to early November where multiple death-a-versaries (dates of death for people in my life) occur within a few days. Ten years ago within a span of 4 days, we lost my husband's grandmother, an aunt who became a mother figure to me and one I have rarely spoken of, the death of our first child, born 21 weeks into our pregnancy.
Grief is an interesting process, as we are never really finished. It never goes away. This is one of the downsides to love and being human. We experience connection with others and with our identities and we also experience loss. Loss in the form of death, loss of relationship to self or others, loss of health, loss of a job; the list goes on. Grief is an interrupted connection, it is evidence of that connection and love. The process of grief is reconciling the interruption with your current self and life. Sorry to say this is not linear, nor is it easy, in fact it is often messy and ugly.
As we age and change so does our grief, take my mom for example. I used to more often long for one more day to bake or garden with her, I would imagine having her all to myself. Now, I wish she could do those things with my daughter, my grief has shifted and the connection interruption I am sad about is one of my mother knowing me as a mother. You see grief can sneak up on you, it comes in softly; a whisper or a falling leaf. Other times it is loud like the raging sea and we see no way out. We can't always predict how it will come or when it will come.
Think about Covid and the changes it has brought to our lives. We are ALL grieving right now. Grieving what we knew to be our reality, perhaps a shift in our work or a loss of job due to Covid, not gathering with friends or going out. Grieving not seeing loved ones or losing loved ones. Grieving what we thought was "normal."
I don't know what Covid will bring nor do I really know what whispers I will hear or what the sea conditions will be in the month ahead for me. But I do know a couple things, I am on the grief rollercoaster; this is life. I cannot change it therefore I will tune into it. I will listen for the whisper or hold on tightly in the waters of the raging sea, and I will make space for whatever comes. I can and will deliberately remember and recognize the losses in my life. The most important thing I know this month is I will get through it.