On Friday we went to the funeral of a very dear friend who died recently. It was, as you can imagine, a very different funeral. Not everyone who wanted to attend was able to. Some people were in risk groups. Others lived in areas with high infection rates and did not want to infect anyone. And only 20 people were allowed to be present. We could not say goodbye the way we wished.
My friend’s death hit me really hard. He had just retired and had so many plans – to adopt a dog, renovate his kitchen, and travel with his family. Instead he received a terminal cancer diagnosis and merely months to live. Covid meant that he could not do the things he wished to do in his last days. I miss him so much and feel so much pain that he did not get to live his last months in a normal world.
I know I am lucky to be healthy and still have a job. I am grateful that my family is well and that I live in a country with an excellent national health care system. But at the same time I am so angry at the situation. Living in pandemia is wearing at me, bit by bit.
Feeling frustration at being powerless, I saw something that one of my friends wrote. It somehow brought me peace.
If you have managed to get safely through the pandemic so far, do you get to complain? Are you allowed to feel sad over that which has not been? Grief over all the missed family gatherings, concerts, dinners, cinema visits and trips. Grief over hugs that were never given and laughter that was never heard. Grief over teenagers who are not allowed to try their wings, and children who know nothing but this life. Grief over all the disappeared energy and lost ambitions. Grief over all the new friends that were never made, the new relationships that never started. Sadness over the fact that we have all become a year older even though not everyone has a year left to give.
Do you get to feel this way, even though you have done well? Yes, I think you do. As long as sorrow does not win over joy.