I can close my eyes and remember, “The Moment” that the coronavirus became real for me. Perhaps you can, too. March 15th, 2020, I was in Cracker Barrel with Bill and our two kids, Joy and Ab and four of our six grandchildren. Not worried about face masks or social distancing. Just enjoying the morning together.
As our breakfast arrived, Covid 19 suddenly became real. The Governor had just made a “disaster proclamation.” The news buzzed around the tables. Similar to a state of emergency. He had ordered all bars and restaurants closed. They stopped seating diners shortly after us. The doors were locked. What was happening??
As the day progressed, we learned that schools and many businesses were also to be closed. First, until April 7th, which was ultimately expanded through May. In panicky voices, our kids realized that their day cares were closing. All four of them were ordered to “work from home” and the chaos began!
The first week was a kind of shock, as they figured out how to connect to their jobsites and to manage to get some work done. The second week we made the call – how can we help? Bill and I made the decision that our kids and grandchildren, ages 9-1, were in our pod. We would help all we could and hope for the best.
That began what turned into a wonderful year of “Stay at Home.” We had one or two of Joy and Russ’s almost every week. Some weeks, Ab and Crystal would work from here while we helped with their three. A different level of knowing them all resulted.
We were all stressed, for sure, and our little ones were scared by this unknown, all these changes. Their prayers reflected their fears, “Please don’t let me or Mommy or Daddy get the virus. Help those with the virus get better.”
They just wanted to play with their friends and hug their teachers again. We had meltdowns (me included) and laughter. We had cooking lessons, attempting all kinds of new foods, even bread (which was not very successful.) There was lots of fishing and bike riding, book reading and game playing and we all did our best at Zoom school. We were grateful their schools were in person again in the fall and that we all have stayed healthy. These last twelve months have been challenging for all, to say the least, and also a blessing as we slowed down and stayed home.
So many families have not been as blessed as us, and have lost family members, many without getting to say goodbye. Without even the ability to grieve together, to hug and hold each other. If you, or someone you love is having difficulty with grief during this time, please contact Heartlinks Grief Center, based in Belleville, Illinois. Heartlinks staff is developing a special program for those who have lost loved ones during this year of the pandemic, and will soon have registration information available.
It may be “The Moment” that changes your road ahead.
Heartlinks Grief Center provides grief support to all ages, regardless of ability to pay. If you are grieving or know someone who could use assistance on their grief journey, please contact Heartlinks Grief Center at 618-277-1800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proceeds from the sale of We Lost Her and Heartbroken are donated to help support Heartlinks Grief Center.
P.S. One of the fun things I did during this year of Stay at Home is write a children’s picture book with the help of my five older grandchildren. The book is a sweet story of how Jesus grows a mother’s love when a new baby is coming to the family. The Secret of a Mommy’s Love is available at Heartlinks Grief Center and on Amazon.com at this link: The Secret of a Mommy's Love. Proceeds from the sale of this book will also be donated to Heartlinks.
We Lost Her, available at this link on Amazon.com
Heartbroken, available at this link on Amazon.com
Heartlinks Grief Center volunteer and Family Hospice board member
“We Grow Stronger Together”