The HE commenters who recently told me to “man up” because of my coronavirus melancholia are hereby advised to rethink their stinkweed views.
On yesterday’s “Amanpour & Co.” grief expert David Kessler (“Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief“) explained to NPR’s Michel Martin what a lot of people are feeling now. Here’s the opening passage:
“What I’m hearing from people is, ‘I woke up with this heavy sadness’ or ‘I was going to bed with this heavy sadness.’ Or ‘I just feel this heaviness.’ They’re all describing grief. We are grieving for the world we have now lost. Our normal life, our work, our routine…everything has changed.
“We’re a society that always wants quick fixes, so we want this to be over quickly. But it’s been [recently] sinking into us that next week or next month, our world’s not gonna go back to normal. And in fact, that our normal world is probably gone forever.
“Grief is [almost always] about change that we didn’t want. We talk now about ‘remember what airports were like before 9/11?’ I think one day we’re going to have discussions about ‘do you remember what life was like before the pandemic? Do you remember how we used to shake hands?’ I think we’re seeing the loss of our world, and we are feeling the grief that goes along with that.
“This is grief. This is loss. The world that we knew has died, and we’re feeling the sadness. And our emotions need to be felt. Suppressing them isn’t going to work.”
Kessler’s riff begins at the 54-second mark.