COVID-19 Update: Learning to Dance in the Rain
DR. JENSEN & DR. WILSON’S
UXBRIDGE: I, Dr. Wilson, have been holding my emotions in tight check over the past weeks until I saw this image. My eldest daughter is the Class of 2020, at McMaster University, and my third daughter is the Class of 2020, at Uxbridge Secondary School. 2.6 billion people in our world are facing some kind of lock-down. The impact of this lock-down on us is immeasurable and involves the loss of so many things: normalcy, safety, connectivity, jobs, income, graduations, proms, weddings, and the loss of loved ones. Our world has lost so many of our citizens. It may be helpful for all of us to take a moment this week and name what we are feeling. We would like to suggest you consider naming your feelings as Grief. Grief is best described as a journey through various stages rather than a static state of mind. These stages have been well described, and many of you may be familiar with them: denial, anger, depression, bargaining, acceptance and finally a return to a meaningful life. We can pass through these stages in any order and we can circle between these stages over the course of a minute or a day or a week. Understanding these stages can help you make sense of what you are feeling, and it can help you empathize with how others are feeling and behaving as well. For example: The woman who reached across you at the grocery store may be in denial, perhaps it is just too hard to believe this virus is so bad. Your friend who is furiously posting crazy conspiracy theories on social media is struggling to find some meaning as to why we have this virus. However, the children who are painting beautiful rocks and leaving them around town have clearly landed on acceptance. We all are on this journey through grief, so be kind to each other and be kind to yourself. It is not a race and sometimes the road is harder for some than others. Are you OK? It’s OK to not be OK. Where are your emotions at right now?
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain. Vivian Greene, 2006
The key word in this beautiful quotation is “learning.” Dancing in the rain does not come naturally to most of us in the midst of a storm. There is learning to be done. Dr. Carlye Jensen, Chief of Staff of Uxbridge Cottage Hospital, and Dr. Jennifer Wilson, President of Uxbridge Health Centre.