Today I had a strange experience. My boys and I biked to the post office in Pasadena to mail some books out. As we pulled up we noticed a trash can that was burning. A moment later I noticed an ambulance driving down the street, headed somewhere else. The fire had melted the trash bag and there were flames in the bottom of the metal grid can. Passers by looked at the trashcan with concern. I noticed a number of cops driving by on motorcycles, and patrol cars pulling up around the corner. I was close to the street and tried to flag a policeman down to show him the can that was enveloped in flames. They were busy heading to another altercation a block away. Meanwhile, I went into the post office and took care of my business. When I came out, my boys told me one of the cops had put the fire out with a fire extinguisher. The cops asked my boys if they saw the individual that started the fire. He explained that the same person had started a few other fires in trash cans along the street. He said there are mentally ill people around, wreaking havoc. “You mean, this person started multiple fires?” “Yep,” said the policeman.
Did you see the The Dark Knight (Batman) by chance? I was trying to get law enforcement’s attention about a real issue, yet they seemed indifferent at the moment. They were chasing after a “bad guy.” Is this Gotham City, or just life with Covid-19?
Life is Different: Grief
How are you feeling about the prospect of stores, schools, restaurants, aquariums, and other places of interest closing up again? At points I want to point the finger and blame someone. But what does that really accomplish?
It is true and real next fall families and educators had hoped to be again learning in person. It’s better for elementary and middle school-aged kids to do so. This article explores these moments of grief: The change and the loss associated with the situation we find ourselves in — in the United States. In my experience, if we can explore and remember how things use to be, we can gain insight about the aspects that are different right now — realizing and recognizing very concretely how things have changed, then arming ourselves with resources to engage with the present.
One of my mentors had extensive training with grief. Because of her influence, I have come to regard grief processing as a method of working through life’s often unexpected challenges. If we can explore transitions through these lenses, there is a potential for transformation. I would like to continue to grow, thrive, and have positive experiences both personally and with my family during Covid. My mentor uses three questions to process grief. In this article (Part 1), I will explore the first:
Part 1: What is lost?
People We Love
One of our friends, Matt S., was diagnosed with lung cancer in three areas in mid-February. He was 54 years old, and never smoked in his life. By the time the doctors found out the extent of the cancer, it was mid-March, a horrible time to need a surgery biopsying cancer. His surgeon was unable to get the surgery scheduled, due to rules put in place, saving “space” for a Covid-surge. In early May, doctors began to call and find out when he wanted to schedule his biopsy surgery. In those 2 months, many of his treatment options winnowed. In early June, the little radiation and chemo he was able to receive had weakened him. He gave up treatment. On June 25, our dear friend passed away.
Inside (and Outside) The Field
See these happy boys? I remember how much they enjoyed being on a team, goofing off with other boys. My sons, though 3 years apart, were going to be on the same Little League team finally! (A dream come true for this Mama!) If you have a son in baseball, I am sure you can relate. They had 2 games in March, and the league shut down until May. Finally, the whole season was scrubbed.
Tune in for Part 2 and 3 for the next 2 questions. You won’t want to miss them, as they are helpful in resolving (unwanted) change.
I had planned to be talking with wonderful homeschool families at conventions this summer. I love connecting with homeschool families! Since I could not do that, I have worked to connect with families through my Organic Learning Channel on Instagram, my blog, and through teaching at co-ops such as FUNdamentals in Arcadia. The truth, just like my kids and their friends, I miss seeing you all.