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Life in the time of coronavirus

Well! What a strange year this turned out to be. Who would have thought, when I wrote about a peaceful and present 2020, that the world would turn upside down and we’d be living through a global pandemic? I have largely kept quiet on here because I think there’s generally been too much noise, and too many people thinking their opinions are important. But this morning I feel the need to write.

It’s a stormy winter’s morning, and last night the wind and rain howled all night. I slept terribly, waking up a few times because of the sheer force of the storm, but also because of my extraordinarily vivid dreams. In one of them, I was with my mom as she died. It wasn’t surprising that she was dying, and it was very peaceful, but when I woke up it felt like I’d just been with her. This morning I feel haunted by it.

Of course, it’s June. And 3 weeks today will be July 1st, the first anniversary of her death, so I generally feel haunted by this-time-last-year. I am very carefully managing my mental health and trying to only focus on positive things and not get too bogged down in remembering last year. I listen to this beautiful Alexandra Streliski piece every day while I work, and that helps.

I garden, as much as I can, and that helps. I am planning a veggie patch that I will work on the week of my mom’s death, and the thought of creating something new and nourishing out of my sadness feels so healing.

Healing during COVID-19

We spent the first 6 weeks of lockdown in Durban, at my childhood home, and it was so healing for me. It was all very last-minute – I was there to look after my dad during his knee replacement surgery, and then suddenly our president announced that the country was going on nationwide lockdown for 3 weeks. So Mark and the kids flew up to join me, and we lived there till lockdown lifted 6 weeks later. Being in my mom’s home, surrounded by all her stuff, where we spent all our time together, was difficult but ultimately so good for me… I’ve been feeling much better since we got back.

But also: we’re still on level 3 of lockdown so nothing is open. All the tools I had available to me before for healing (distraction, movies, ability to move around freely) have largely been taken away. My kids are home all day every day so there’s no personal space. And that’s been a challenge.

So! One step at a time, one day at a time, this too shall pass.

Published inInspiring

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