When I think about all that our nation—and the world—is experiencing with regard to the coronavirus and COVID-19, we all are impacted in many different ways. Our routines have been dramatically altered, the health of loved ones is in question, physical contact with family and friends has become minimal, employment is unstable, our freedom to shop anywhere we desire is no longer an option, and statistics are sobering as deaths world-wide increase daily. These are simply a FEW of the many losses we are all experiencing. And these losses must be grieved. Finding space to name and “be with” the emotions of grief is essential in maintaining our mental health throughout this global crisis. Other practical ways to honor grief include journaling and sharing difficult emotions with a trusted friend. As we process through grief, it can be helpful to remember why we are grieving.
The over arching issue in all of this comes down to one thing: The SANCTITY of human life. We often link this term to the unborn baby and the debate between a woman’s right to choose and the life of an unborn child. However, sanctity of life applies from the womb to the tomb – from life’s first breath to final death. The dash between life and death is truly a gift to be held sacred and honored. Every life is significant and worthy.
Why exercise? Why eat healthy? Why take vitamins? Why take medication that my body needs? Why put on a seatbelt? Why go to the doctor? And specifically in this season, Why constantly wash hands? Why apply sanitizer? Why adhere to social distancing? Why restrict the frequency of grocery shopping trips? The answer for all of these is: the sanctity of human life.
By doing these things, we honor the life God has given us, and we are also honoring the sanctity of other lives. God gave us our lives to steward and protect, and each one of us is responsible to care for and protect our own lives and the lives of others. Although there are no guarantees of safety and health, we each have an active part to play. When I think about those in hospital beds right now, possibly on the brink of death and desperately desiring to live, I can be reminded that I have the freedom to honor the sanctity of human life in many different modalities. I am honoring the sanctity of that life each time I wash my hands and sanitize my surroundings. I am honoring the sanctity of life as I grieve the death of those whose lives I never knew. I am honoring the sanctity of life as I provide childcare for a healthcare worker who has been working around the clock. I am honoring the sanctity of life as I provide a meal for a friend who was recently diagnosed with COVID-19. I am honoring the sanctity of life as I restrict my “freedoms” to flatten the curve of this pandemic. Be reminded and encouraged by the why in the midst of this difficult season.
If you want to speak to a counselor about grief or about concerns you are having during this unusual time, please call us at 919-851-1527.