What we are really feeling is grief.

Scott Westerman
5 min readDec 26, 2020

That feeling you have right now? It’s grief.

Our lives have been turned upside down, comfort zones smashed, futures uncertain. Every assumption we had about daily existence is in limbo. Our tempers are short. We’re not sleeping well. Each new headline generates a visceral reaction. Every emotion is amplified.

The suffering and death that used to be happening to someone else is directly touching each of us.

We all know someone who is Covid19 positive. In time, we will know people who have died. Perhaps the most frightening dimension is that we are looking our own mortality squarely in the face. Any one of us could become a victim of Corona’s indiscriminate swath.

“It feels like a free-fall,” Santa Rosa, Calif., psychotherapist, Francis Weller told NPR. “What we once held as solid is no longer something we can rely upon.”

“I’m in limbo.” Political reporter Don Gonyea, quoting from an article in Vanity Fair.

The evolution of awareness is following the Kueblar-Ross grief continuum like a text book. You can see it happening in real time on your social media feeds. From quarantined homes to the highest levels of government, we are grieving.

Our traditions have disappeared. March Madness, Opening Day, commencement, the Tokyo Olympics, that commute we thought we hated, are all are scrapped or postponed. Summer weddings, fall football, even the freedom to visit loved ones may not happen this year.

“Thou shalt stand four cubits apart.” a sign outside of a church, shared by Janine Latus

And the worst of it is that we are denied our most fundamental need. We can’t physically come together to comfort one another.

We must commiserate on FaceTime, on the phone or via a river of words we type into emails, Tweets and Facebook posts.

Covid19 has forced us to confront our deepest fears. The reality of impermanence is smacking us in the face. The key question is, how can we transform the horrific present reality in to the defining moment of our lives.