Friday, May 22 – Taking Time To Mourn

By Kait Marcelle SAN DIEGO, USA

If you are looking for some hope or positive news, please stay far away from this home. A few days before mothers’ day, I found out some information I never wanted to know. Within an instant, my entire foundation cracked, and there was no air left in the room. I fell to the floor and tried my hardest not to let the person on the other end of the phone line hear my weeping over the loved one I just lost.

Not a moment has gone by in over a week that this information wasn’t searing through my brain. From the moment I wake, I beg for the sweet relief of unconsciousness that can’t begin soon enough. As I try to make tea or coffee (two things I love), I simply have lost my ability to enjoy them. “Just choose one,” I tell myself. I find my body regularly lost in an ill attempt at a task because the weight of this horrible information is all-consuming. The thoughts creep in and fill every one of my limbs. My senses burn, my functions stop, and my world is rocked all over again, like a seismic blow to my soul. And that’s all before the coffee is made.

I’ve been home completing finals, and have only threshold left to do laundry (shared in my building) or to fetch a package. If I didn’t have a constant flow of final projects to work on, I fear I’d be in a far worse state left alone with my own thoughts for that long. Working from home as well, I have had no contact with the outside world this past week. I’ve never been more thankful for the mandated reclusive as I have no plans to cancel, or friends to disappoint with my absence.

My usual coping mechanisms involve groups of friends and meandering the fresh damp wilderness. I fell in love with a boy from the pacific north-west over a decade ago. I must admit my love of the land there, and my love for him is about equal. He is okay with that. We all agree, how could you not? The vast, ancient forests are genuinely the most magical place on earth I’ve ever seen. Endless misty days were a dream living there for a decade, and I miss it regularly. Our goal of having a cabin in the woods back there someday feels impossibly far off as I look out at the hot concrete jungle of San Diego where we live. Taking a walk down the hot, busy street sounds like torture. Heading to the sunny beach feels like a nightmare. I’m sure not a “typical” California girl, despite being born here.
Our region is doing well, with declining cases. Local restrictions have started to lift, such as some retail options, with plans to lift more restrictions nearly every week from here on throughout the summer. I do hope social distancing stays enforced on our coasts. Crowds of tourists and locals alike packed onto beaches all day with each other seem like a recipe for disaster to me. Most places have simply increased their cleaning measures and require masks to enter. While that is fantastic, I think there is more to be done by us all before extra cleaning, and masks will get us back on track to a new normal.

Speaking of a new normal, what can we enjoy this summer? 10/10 bring back “drive-in” everything. We can keep social distance while getting away from home: concerts, movies, live performances. Restaurants can serve people in the parking lot in their cars, just like tables. Discard bins for your plates and utensils. Okay, maybe I’ve taken that too far. Still, drive-in entertainment is a must in my book if we are expected to be on continued social restrictions for the remainder of the summer. My bachelorette party was happening this summer, but everything is so up in the air I’ve just canceled it until further notice.

Luckily my partner reports that the stores are staying stocked, and panic buying has seemed to ease up slightly. Limits on items are still very prevalent. I can hear many more cars out recently from my apartment, and an increase in sirens and first responder sounds. I imagine the worst and hope for the best.

I’m of the firm belief that if I can endure this life-shattering moment, during a pandemic, I can handle just about anything life throws at me from here on out. As our world begins to return to normal, I know my life, and the lives of my family will never be the same. Coping with grief and loss is something we are all most likely feeling in some form or another. Whether it’s the life you had before this, or a loved one lost its paramount, we all take the time to mourn.