Friday, May 1: Grief and Hard Things

Here we are at the beginning of the Golden Week holidays in Japan. Golden Week is a big deal. There are multiple national holidays all in a row, which means that for the average person you can have up to a 10 or 12 day holiday if you take a few strategic days off. Then, 2020 and covid-19 came and all plans are off.

YCS usually has Spring Fair the first weekend of Golden Week. Canceled. My family had a camping trip planned. Canceled. I am sure many other families in our community have also canceled big plans for these holidays. And now is a time to grieve. When so much planning and joy goes into a trip and then you have to cancel, even if it is the smartest and safest plan for you and your family, there is grief. There’s no way around the grief that has been caused by this global pandemic.

At this point, our family trip to visit Alaska for the summer, will most likely be canceled. I can’t see that the situation we are in right now will change drastically enough for the better that we will be allowed to go. I don’t want this post to be a mini-pity party, but we are only able to visit family every other year. We shop, we do summer camp, we visit friends and this year we can’t.

All of the things that we do on this trip seem trivial compared to the more serious consequences of flouting stay-at-home orders and going on the trip anyway. The grief is still there. Our logical brains know that we are doing our best, but our feelings of disappointment don’t simply dissipate because we know that we are making the right decision. It is okay to feel this way. It is ok to grieve.

Recently, I read Glennon Doyle’s book Untamed. In it she has a mantra: we can do small things. For this time, I have adopted that phrase as my mantra. We can do hard things.