‘Pandemicing’

I had a virtual physical yesterday which was interesting. In all honesty it made the health conversations much easier with my doctor and I kind of like her more now that we can laugh about my cat walking in front of my face during a zoom call. This is the first time it felt more personal and less clinical probably because I was at my own house in my pajamas during this conversation.

One of the questions before we even sat down was if I had an increase in anxiety. I honestly started laughing. Who doesn’t have an increase in anxiety right now? Who isn’t having scary thoughts? I’m pretty sure I’m not in the minority here.

My doctor asked if I felt like I needed to speak to a therapist and I honestly had to think about it for a few minutes. I’m pretty sure I’m going through what everybody else is going through on some level. So my answer to her was my anxiety has been worse before, this is manageable for now.

It’s manageable at the moment because we are all healthy. Is my life an absolute shit show some days? Yes, yes it is. As much as I love being home with my kids it is exhausting being home with my kids. My husband is still working and has had to pick up the slack at our business that I cannot attend to. So that means longer hours for him and in turn longer hours for me flying solo over here trying to hold everything together. It’s a delicate dance and it doesn’t always work.

Today in the middle of a Pre-K lesson about the letter ‘S’ I broke down crying over the fact that we had to cancel our trip to Storyland this August. I am just now seeing the irony that Storyland begins with ‘S’. Yes we are all healthy and lucky to be so and yes I am grateful to be home with my kids. However that does not minimize the fact that I am sad. I am sad that my youngest is at the perfect age and has just recently become obsessed with princesses and will miss out on this experience this year. And I know there have been worse things going on in the world and we’ve gone through terrible things as a family, but I do not want to minimize my feelings. Because if I do that, then I will not deal with them. To put it plainly, this sucks.

I’ve seen so many posts mocking the graduates of 2020 who did not get their prom or graduation ceremonies and comparing it to Vietnam. Well yes, it does make you think about what that generation went through. However, it should never minimalize what these kids are going through today. One experience does not negate the other.

You are allowed to feel what you are feeling. It is all valid. Whether you are home with kids or you are home alone or you are surrounded by a huge family right now This is still really, really hard. And you are allowed to feel sad and you are allowed to feel anxious or any other emotion that you are going through. And you are most certainly not alone in these feelings. Just like everybody grieves differently, everybody ‘pandemics’ differently.

Siblings Day

April 10th is Siblings Day. Everyone posts pictures on social media of their siblings or children. I took a picture of my 3 while we waited in the car at the vet for the dog and all I saw was the missing piece. Another day that is just so hard after losing a child.

I came across this article and after reading it, felt a little lighter. Because just like Mother’s Day, Siblings Day was actually started from loss. A woman that lost her sister created the day on her sister’s birthday to memorialize her. My heart breaks for those have lost their siblings, their first friends.

https://modernloss.com/what-siblings-day-means-to-someone-with-a-dead-sister/?fbclid=IwAR0zTE146mjja2rPKU0DrlSaZiiKR_j_k1rjk-RSyCt34BRV01YrzkI36wM

I’ve been lucky in that sibling loss is about the only loss that I haven’t had to face. I’ve been lucky because I have my older sister. We have different mom’s, but you would never know, because we have more in common with each other than most would with an 11 year age gap.

She’s my person. She’s my go to for most things in life. Not only because she’s my sister, but also because she stepped up when my mom died when I was 16. She was the one who took me to visit colleges when I was a senior. She was the one that gave me my first credit card (and I’m sure promptly regretted it). My sister was the one who helped me to plan my wedding and spent countless hours with me when I had questions about my babies as a new mom. My sister was at the hospital when my son died and helped to plan his Memorial. She was there when my babies were born to help out at home with the other littles.

She didn’t have to do any of those things. We didn’t grow up together, we actually lived in different states. We didn’t get close until I was older, mostly due to the age gap. I am lucky. And I don’t think I have ever thanked her for everything that she has done. Because when I write it all out, it’s a lot. So thank you Deb. You are amazing. And I love you.

The Lesson

I’ve read several posts about all of the beautiful things that we will learn from this pandemic. That we need to slow down. That we need to spend more time with family. That we shouldn’t take simple things for granted.

There are definitely things that I hope change. I think the entire system of education and healthcare has been shown to be insufficient at best. For the first time parents are seeing how fucking hard it is to be an educator in this country. We have learned that our current healthcare system doesn’t work if everyone doesn’t have access to care. We’ve learned that the hourly wage earners are our heros and that our health care workers wear invisible capes. The way we view the world has changed.

And I get that we need a silver lining. We as humans need to bring some meaning into this madness. But at what cost? Is it fair that someone had to suffer in sickness or even die for you to learn that lesson? Is it fair for us to bypass another person’s anguish for our own reasoning?

I am struggling with the memes. All of the happy anecdotal memes that speak of the great things that will happen because of the Covid-19 pandemic. I understand them. I even agree with them. But deep down they bother me.

I know that a lot of people have died. And when people try to add reason to that I have a very hard time. It comes across almost like a crude sacrifice. As if one person’s death is ok because the environment is doing better or it forced Little Johnny to become closer with his dad.

Nothing happens for a reason. Our loved ones do not die for a reason. There is no lesson in any of it. They die and you do the best damn job that you can of picking up the pieces and figuring out what you’re supposed to do next. And who even knows what that means?

I will never find reason with all of the loss in my life. I will not look at this disease and massive loss of life as a lesson. I know what it is to lose someone you love suddenly and expectedly. Neither is easy or fair.

This is complicated for me. Yes I hope that there is change and yes I hope that people recognize that the way we were doing things has failed. But the death of 80,000 people shouldn’t be used as a lesson. It’s unfortunate that it’s taken this for us to open our eyes. So many of us afflicted by grief already know not to take things for granted already. Now the world has joined us.