Reflections After One Year of the Covid-19 Pandemic and Lock Downs
What is grief but the perseverance of love?
One year ago today, the schools in San Francisco announced they were closing because of the spread of Covid-19. And, tomorrow is the anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring we are in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Never could we have imagined. Never do we hope to experience again. Though, we may.
We all experienced so much loss in this year, and I want to pause to honor that loss. People, relationships, freedom of movement, mental health, financial security, jobs.
I laugh to think that I got this quote above from the Marvel Comic show recently released called Wanda Vision. It just goes to show you can find wisdom in unexpected places if you are open to it.
What is grief but the perseverance of love? Love for freedom of breath, for freedom of gathering, for the physical closeness with other humans, for laughter and singing, for the privilege of grieving together.
My biggest loss this year was my mother. We didn’t lose her to Covid but Covid put an odd blanket over my grief, somehow depriving it of oxygen so I couldn’t express it fully.
We are putting together a lovely virtual memorial for her but I long for an old fashioned wake — the hugs of friends and siblings, the kind words of neighbors, the relatives who remind you why you don’t stay in touch. There is something about the physicality of how we grief, the sobs we surrender to, the arms that hold us in community, that is critical to our processing of loss.
Absent that, I’m working on clinging to this idea of grief being the perseverance of love. This is a new practice for me — when I find myself in a wave of grief, I am consciously inviting that feeling to morph into the love my mother made me feel in our best moments together.
My mother always thought I would change the world for the better,
I remember watching The China Syndrome together in 1979, and she told me I was just like Jane Fonda’s character — someone who would risk everything to make the world better. Who but your mother can hold such high opinion of you!
I will continue to strive to make the world better — not for her, but supported by her confidence in me and her love for me. I am supported by the child-like hope that what she saw in me is there.
I am sorry for your losses this year.
Let us grieve together to remind us of what and who we love.
Colleen Kavanagh is the ZEGO Founder and CEO ZEGO, and proud daughter of Ann Marie Hattan Kavanagh