COVID is getting old.
This pandemic feels never ending, and many of us carry its weight constantly. We have lost “life as we knew it.” We grieve our lost routines and group activities. Some of us grieve loved ones lost to COVID. We’re tired of feeling that we could give or get a virus every time we sit down to visit with friends or family.
Many of us are feeling that the light at the end of the tunnel has gone out. In times like this, how do we find our way?
During this time of loss, I am reminded of my time in time in the NICU earlier in my career. There were certainly many happy times in my NICU journey but, the loss and grief some families experienced were some of the darkest times I ever remember. I often felt helpless when I looked into the eyes of suffering parents as they held their infant for the last time. I will never forget that look of sadness and grief.
Looking back, I now realize something powerful was happening at those darkest moments. The power I felt seemed to come from within us, flowed between each of us, and seemed to be beyond all of us. I believe during the most profound moments of loss and grief that the power within us allows us to draw on strength we do not realize we have. That power offers us comfort and give us hope.
I believe this power is LOVE.
So how can we tap into this power to help us carry on today? There is no easy answer. This pandemic will continue to throw challenges at us, and we may never return completely to life as we knew it. Yet, I believe there are three small steps we can take today to create light and show love.
- Build Connection: We are wired to connect with others. It is more difficult now, but more important than ever. Tap into that power between each of us. Reach out, smile, send a note, set up (yet another) Zoom. The possibilities are endless, and each small act ripples outward.
- Show Compassion: When someone is sad, angry or frustrated, showing up can make all the difference. We may not have the right words to say. We may not understand what the other is feeling. However, we can be present. We can commit to walking alongside them and truly listening.
- Encourage Communication: In times of uncertainty, fear creeps in. When we lack information, we feel out of control. Many things are out of our control at this time, but open, honest, frequent communication helps build trust and a sense of control. Stay in touch with your family, friends and coworkers. Communicate frequently—even when the news is bad.
While the cloud of COVID looms for months ahead and the light at the end of the tunnel seems elusive, I believe we have the power to persevere. Let us all double down on what helps us tap into that power of love.
Dr. Teri Wahlig
ChildServe improves the health and well-being of 4,600 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.