These unprecedented times we find ourselves living in right now have brought many mixed emotions. You hear stories of families connecting more, times of rest and relaxation, and less stress. People are reaching out more and helping their neighbors and even strangers in ways they have never done before. It has brought a thankfulness and gratitude towards nurses, doctors, teachers, grocery store workers, etc. that maybe we all took for granted.
On the other side, I know many people are struggling greatly. And the losses they are dealing with are heavy. And they don’t know how they are going to make it.
During this time of the unknown it is important that we can name those things we are grateful for but also those things we have lost. Many times we focus on only trying to be thankful and talk about the things that are good. Which is a great thing to do. But it is just as important to name and recognize our losses. Our students and kids especially need to recognize that naming their loss is ok. It’s not a bad thing to think about something we have lost and only name what we are grateful for. Naming it gives us a chance to mourn and move on.
We hung a paper on our refrigerator about a month ago and started this process of naming things we are grateful for and things that are losses. We haven’t been great about naming things every week but I think just having it up there reminds us that it’s okay to have these feelings of both loss and gratefulness side by side. It helps us recognize that there is both pain and joy in what we face not only during this time in our lives, but at any time. I used to shelter my kids from anything bad. I didn’t want them to know I was sad or angry or had a bad day. But kids need to see that part of us. They need to know that naming a loss is normal so that when it happens to them, they know how to mourn the loss and pick back up and move on.
So I would encourage you during this time, no matter where you find yourself, to be thankful and grateful for the things God is doing or has provided but that it is also okay and just as important to recognize those things that you have lost. And help those students around you to do the same.