The Longest Month

I think April of 2020 has been the longest month of my life.

I’ve certainly had other long and difficult months. I’ve spent months at a time in the hospital, often not being allowed to get out of the bed or, sometimes, sit up. Much of that as a child who wanted to go outside and play. I’ve spent months in some very serious pain. I’ve spent months where depression and anxiety kept me away from the world by choice.

But nothing has been like last month for me, and I know I’m not alone.

It’s not just a matter of boredom, though there was some of that. It was the worry, the fear, and eventually the overwhelming grief and confusion.

(Let me put in a warning here. My posts tend towards the positive. This is not going to be a happy post. For those reading when I post it, you may have already taken in more sad and worrisome things than is good for you to handle. I won’t be offended if you stop reading.)

Right now, as I type this, we are in the midst of the pandemic known as Covid-19. It has infected millions, and killed over 200000, it has brought life as we know it to a standstill globally. It is like nothing I have experienced before. We are all stuck where we are. Public gatherings are not happening. Travel has stopped. Public venues are shut down. Grocery stores have arrows on the floor to indicate what direction you are allowed to go in, and taped marks to show where you can stand. We are all staying six feet apart from one another. Many are off of work, more are working from home, and the essential workers still have to go out and brave getting sick to keep us going.

Then, here in Nova Scotia, a maniac whose name I will not include here because it doesn’t deserve to be remembered, went on a rampage in a place near and dear to my heart, perpetrating the worst mass shooting Canada has ever seen, in a tiny little place most had never heard of. A place we can see from the cottage. A place close to family. Too many lives were lost.

The next week, a NATO helicopter crashed off the coast of Greece, costing the lives of six more Canadians.

April was, in many ways, a series of blow after blow. It seemed like when we started to pick ourselves up off the ground, or even start to, something else happened.

I can count on one hand how many days in April didn’t see me crying at some point. From sadness or just because everything got so overwhelming. And, yes, sometimes in joy because there have been some wonderful things people have done to bring us together, too.

So, why am I writing all of this? Many of my readers are in Nova Scotia or have ties to it, you already know all this. Those who aren’t still heard the news.

I’m writing this for myself. I’m writing this because for me, at least, getting it all out and down into words is good for me. Thoughts can get all cluttered up in my brain, sometimes I just need to sit down and type them out. I’m writing this for you guys, as a reminder that while you may be by yourself, you’re not alone in how you feel.

I’m also writing this because I don’t want to forget. I want something out there that I can look back at next year, or in five or ten years. I want to remember, not because these are good memories, but because to forget is to once again take for granted what we have.

And I want to write this down because I want to remind all of you, as well as myself, that it is a new month. Spring is coming (in theory, it did snow last week here). A time of renewal. We’re going to get through this. Nova Scotia is as strong as she is beautiful, and we humans are a resilient folk. And beyond my beloved province, we’re all, as a society, going to weather this storm.

Once again, please be kind to yourselves and to those around you.

Want to follow or interact with me on social media? Find me on Twitter by following @jennifermorash or head over to https://www.facebook.com/jennifermorashblog. I post blogs every Wednesday.

It’s Okay

I’d like to talk to you all about grief.

We are all experiencing it to one degree or another. For those of us here in Nova Scotia, or with ties here, it is unfortunately far stronger now, but the whole world is going through it.

Grief for lost liberties, grief for loss of free movement, for loss of employment, for loss of social interaction, for loss of human touch.

You may not even realize that grief is what you’re feeling, but you are.

The thing is, grief takes some really unpredictable forms, and that makes it harder to recognize sometimes. That outburst you had the other day when your shower turned cold? Grief. The sudden onset of sadness for no reason you can actually name? Grief. A tendency to lose track of time? That’s grief.

The thing is, it’s okay. What you’re feeling is okay. You’re allowed. You know that thought of “but other people have it worse, so I should just suck it up?” That thought is wrong. What you feel is okay.

However, let me tell you what else is okay. Laughter. Joy. Positivity. That funny meme you want to share, but you’re worried you’ll be seen as insensitive for posting it when others are going through so much sorrow? Post it, people need a moment of laughter. That sweet video you saw? Share it. It’s okay for you to enjoy it, and it’s okay for other people to see it. It will help them.

It’s okay to want to enjoy things. It’s okay to want to feel good. You are allowed to feel good, you should try to feel good.

I’ve said this a lot lately in my posts, but let me say it again: be kind to yourself. Those aren’t just empty words I keep tacking onto my posts. I mean it. Be kind to yourself. Cut yourself some slack here.

It’s okay.

Want to follow or interact with me on social media? Find me on Twitter by following @jennifermorash or head over to https://www.facebook.com/jennifermorashblog. I post blogs every Wednesday.