We have the right to grieve, even if we are the lucky ones

Amjad Yamin
Amjad Yamin (Photo: Jordan News)
While the vaccines have changed our outlook on both what we have gone through and the future trajectory of COVID-19, it remains that the virus has claimed more than 3.7 million lives since the outbreak early last year, and disrupted the lives of almost everyone on earth. It has left more than 2 billion people on earth today who have lost at least one person they know (estimating that on average a person knows 600 people throughout their lifetime). اضافة اعلان

I do not know of another time in history where every third person on earth was mourning the death of someone they know. Studies also show that the grief people feel after a COVID-19 death, for several reasons, is more pervasive and acute than the grief they feel after a death that’s due to natural causes.

And while this is important, and the full effects of which will be untangled in the coming years, there is another kind of grief that may go unnoticed. A type that was named in the 80s as “disenfranchised grief.”

We all have missed something in the last year. Some of us have missed a loved one’s wedding, a planned vacation, the first steps of a grandchild, or even routine time we have spent with family and friends.

In the grand scheme of things, even the author of this article has been guilty of using phrases like “I am one of the lucky ones,” “cannot complaint when others are going through such and such,” etc and similar other phrases that stem from the guilt of complaining about a lost vacation to someone who may have just lost a loved one.

But disenfranchised grief is real. And while it might not have as big of an impact on our lives as bigger events, it is still real and there is still no support system for it.

And now, at this time in history, we have an event that has literally affected everybody who inhabits this earth. People have lost opportunities, have been diagnosed with terminal illness with a social support system, people have had to fall ill and recover on their own, and have been purely lonely.

While there is not a lot we can do about this right now, and it will continue to happen until the impact of COVID-19 on the world is meaningfully minimized, we should always remember that everyone we are dealing with, almost everyone in our lives, is a little bit more sad than usual. That maybe, considering what we are all going through, it is a good time to be a little bit kinder towards each other.

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