A final moment comes like a thief in the night. We do not expect it or see it coming. If we knew that certain moments would be the “last time” then we would relish and linger in them a little longer. We would allow all our senses to take it in and seal it in our minds.
For example, as moms, most of us cannot name the exact moment or name the details of the last time we held our toddlers on our hips. We just look up one day and they are elementary kids, teenagers, or young adults and we cannot remember that last time of propping them up on our hips.
If we had known it was going to be the last time then, we would have lingered in the feeling of that little hand on our shoulder blade, the smell of the snack crackers or baby lotion, the warmth of the breath on our cheek. We grieve the passing of those moments, and seasons and it is perfectly normal.
Many of you may be currently experiencing the grief of a last time right now. You may be feeling cheated that you did not get to finish the semester at college and have an opportunity for a proper goodbye with friends or to see your dorm for the last time or the last day of class celebrations.
Perhaps you are feeling the loss of an already cancelled graduation and senior events. High school seniors and parents of high school seniors, we feel your pain and empathize with you as we know that you did not get to complete your last dance competition, baseball or track season, senior prom, or recognition banquet. You are not alone. We recognize your loss.
Grief may be setting in as your routine has changed, and you find yourself homebound in this current health crisis. It’s okay to grieve your losses. Some may tell you that you need to stop grieving as it could be worse or count your blessings, but I am saying to allow yourself that space to grieve.
Grief is a natural part of life and the events you are missing are monumental events in your life. It’s okay to note that a huge shift has happened in your life and life plans. It’s also okay to grieve it.
Grief is processed by sharing it with others. Find a safe person that will allow you that space to talk about what you are missing and what has changed. Talking helps to organize our thoughts and to put things that do not make sense into some sort of order that we can manage and move on from. Even if you are repeating events or thoughts, it’s okay and normal. We often process through repetition.
If you are not able to find someone safe to talk to that allows you to freely process and explore, then journal. Journaling is a wonderful, but if you also have someone to share those written thoughts with, it makes it more powerful. Having someone bear witness to our pain is a powerful tool.
Even though this event is worldwide, and the entire world is grieving lost events, it does not minimize your own person lost events or pain. Acknowledge it and allow yourself to grieve with the rest of the world.
Seniors 2020, this blog is for you and for all that you are grieving right now. We are with you and are bearing witness to your pain.
Written by: Esther Vanderwal and Mitzie Beavert