The Grief of COVID-19

by Jennifer AnandSurvivor, Hodgkin’s LymphomaApril 13, 2020View more posts from Jennifer Anand

The Grief of COVID-19. I’ve never been good at grieving. I believe myself a stoic person.

Additionally, I know there are so many people worse off than me, and I feel so guilty grieving. I have my job still, I haven’t lost anyone directly right now, I have good things in my life that I should be, and am, grateful for. But as the cancellations and disappointments continue to pile, I realized it would be OK for me to take a few minutes and list the things I grieve.

I grieve happiness. Weddings to participate in. Engagement parties to hold. Bridal and baby showers to celebrate new beginnings. The isolation of happiness.

I grieve celebrations. The birthdays to be celebrated, the graduations to commemorate. The accomplishments tirelessly worked for. The isolation of congratulations.

I grieve in the loneliness. The happy times of just enjoying the friends in my living room, the group hikes, the shared car rides. Simple pleasures and joys together.

I grieve community worship. Greeting fellow worshipers, the power of a thousand voices lifted in song, the beauty of a prayer whispered together.

I grieve food together. A full table, turning strangers into friends. Rubbing elbows as we wash dishes and clean counters.

I grieve shopping. No more telling strangers where they can find the novelty item in your cart or knocking on all the watermelons to find the juiciest one.

I grieve the outdoors. Stopping to talk to other walkers. Petting the friendly dogs. Sharing drinks on the patio.

I grieve family. Video calls can never replace the communal laughter over a shared joke. Tasting the home cooked food.

I grieve physical affection. No holding hands no snuggles. Not even a warm, enveloping hug.

I grieve health. Care not to get injured. Worry over the simplest cough. Daily temperature checks.

I grieve community. The people we regularly see. No matter how annoying, it was our community.

I grieve grieving. Funerals without the support of friends and family to surround. An empty church to represent the hundreds whose lives were touched by the deceased. No chance to speak the words of memories that we hold dear.

The Grief of COVID-19.

One day, we will celebrate again. Together. With those we love and miss. And we will once again be able to grieve together the ones we have lost during this time of isolation. We’ll never get back these days, these memories, these times. But we continue to prove, time and time again, that nothing is lost when we have hope for better days to come.


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One Comment

  • Christine Kelly says:

    I love this piece! I feel a lot of that grief but haven’t verbalized it. Thank you for sharing.

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