Grief Is A Process

More than a dozen of my friends and neighbors are either sick with COVID right now, have loved ones in the hospital with it, or are grieving someone who lost their life to it in the last week.

So much grief.

C.S. Lewis, in A Grief Observed, confessed that he thought grief was a state he could navigate through, until he experienced it for himself. “Grief is not a state but a process,” he realized.

Part of that process is identifying what we’re really grieving. Not only the loss of our health, but the loss of the illusion that we’re invincible, immortal, or at least strong. Not only the loss of a job, but the loss of control, purpose, and identity. Not only the loss of a loved one, but the loss of the chance to be a better friend, son, father, or neighbor to them tomorrow.

Many of us who aren’t unemployed, aren’t sick, aren’t Facetiming a parent in a hospital, and have no empty chairs at our kitchen table are still grieving.

What am I grieving?

Today, I’m grieving that we aren’t who I thought we were. We are more individualistic than communal. We are more selfish than sacrificial. We are more political than biblical. We do what we must and not all we can. We love our freedom and comfort more than our neighbor. We are not who I thought we were.

And in my grief I am very angry – not as compassionate, kind, or patient as I thought I was. I grieve this too.

Grief is a process. Part of that process is admitting what we’re really grieving. What are you grieving today?