by Jan McDaniel
Waiting is part of grieving, and it is part of what all of us are doing in communities large and small over the world. You may be waiting to see how COVID-19 is going to impact your loved ones or waiting for a test result. Perhaps you are wondering what will happen to your job now that so many businesses are closed. And you may be grieving. For the loss of a loved one or for the changes that have shaken your life. For so many losses and people in danger. So much uncertainty.
You really are not alone. Though it may feel that way, many people are praying, hoping, cheering you on. Lighting candles. Tying red ribbons on door posts to honor the heroes who are working in hospitals. So many are still there in food banks, essential businesses, food delivery, manufacturing plants, farms and gardens, funeral homes, fire and police stations. So many more.
When I was young, a few months after I married, I had to have surgery. My doctor worked in a hospital that was a couple of hours from my home. It felt pretty lonely when my husband was at work. I was in a city I didn't know among people who didn't know me. But, the surgery went well, and I was treated kindly. And I would wake up early or in the middle of the night and listen to the noises outside the hospital. I could see from my window how different everything looked lit only by street lights. Sirens signaled when an ambulance came in. Otherwise, it was quite.
It was comforting to think of all the people moving about, coming into the hospital to work, leaving from the night shift. Garbage trucks trundled past. And I began to think of others who were out there, beyond my sight, protecting and doing what needed to be done. In the laboratory, at the fire station. Patrolling the streets of the city. Keeping it safe. Keeping all the people still sleeping secure.
I liked that waiting. And sometimes, now, I light a candle and though it seems like a very small bit of hope in the darkness, I think of all the others unseen who are lighting candles in their own way. All of us together can get through the darkest times.
That's what I hope for you. As you wait. That you will think of those you can't see who are out there. Light your own candle. And feel the comfort and warmth of all those small lights.
Way for Hope
Losing someone you love is difficult, but it can mean a lot to hear from others traveling similar paths.
Follow on Instagram!
Links of Value:
Alliance of Hope for Suicide Loss Survivors
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Word of God
"My Story" Big Daddy Weave
"Hope in Front of Me"
The Joy FM
Traumatic loss or preexisting conditions can worsen mental health. Use this info graphic to find help.
"Take Charge of Your Mental Health" - a free download from www.nami.org: