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Ritual. Grief. Quarantine.

ritual grief quarantine

Ritual. Grief. Quarantine.

Ritual. It brings family, friends, and communities together.

It binds you in your values. It bonds you in your shared beliefs. It connects your  mind, body, and spirit. But what if rituals don’t exist?

Sunday was Easter.

I’m not a terribly religious person, but I knew that I wouldn’t be with my family for a traditional gathering. And it felt like a freight train rolled in and parked on my chest.

I woke up sad.

The familiar heavy fog of longing for something that wouldn’t be, had settled in while I slept. My family ritual was not happening today. And I’m not alone in that. Weddings, funerals, bar & bat mitzvah’s, seders, school & sports events, and more have also been cancelled or modified. It’s a loss for us all.

My mother passed away three years ago. The holidays were her favorite time of year. She’d decorate the house and cook for days in preparation for a family feast. Her absence is profound. Quarantine amplifies it.

For those of you who have experienced grief, you know it feels physical.

It registers in the same regions of your brain as physical pain. So literally, it hurts. It comes in waves – sometimes when you least expect it. And quarantine seems like a painful wave pool. 

Maybe you’re not struggling with grief, but rather regret or fear or insecurity occupies your mind these days. Acknowledge them and allow them to flow. They are temporary and constantly changing.  And they are messengers of what’s most important to you. 

grief. ritual. quarantine.These are tough times. But we’re all in it together. 

Video calls, exercise, schedules, journaling, and gratitude are key wellness habits to navigating the isolating Coronavirus and COVID-19 protocols. So, keep doing those activities and more. 

Physical distancing in quarantine strips you of ritual, routine, and being close with others.

It challenges all your coping strategies to create a sense of normalcy, socialization, and connection.

Easter turned out okay, after all.

Zoom with family, a walk outside, and hard boiled eggs with my husband filled some of the void. Eventually, the weightiness lifted and life got back to “quarantine normal”

Stay present in today.

Breathe through the rough spots. Move your body. Take a shower and put on an outfit. Reach out to friends and family. Create new or modified rituals. Communicate. 

This too shall pass.

When it does, you’ll be stronger, wiser, and more resourceful in the end.


Heather Edwards, LMHC, BCC

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