This week has been strange. I have felt out of sorts. Along with sadness and spikes of frustration, perhaps what has been most troubling is that it has taken me a few days to figure out what is going on. On a walk this morning, it hit me.

I like many of you have lost a lot of people in life. People that really mattered. My parents. Some friends. Relatives far and near. This aside from the countless folks I have had the privilege of walking alongside during the dying process. With each death, in varying degrees, has been grief. Sometimes profound. At other times moderated by things such as relief that suffering has ended or gratitude that a full life was lived.

Grief, while a different journey for every person, generally includes sadness, anger, a whole host of other emotions, feeling out of sorts, and a surreal disconnected feeling. It is this surreal disconnected feeling that I now realize I’ve been experiencing since the coronavirus has hit the world and turned most things upside down.

I recognize I’ve been having thoughts such as, “This isn’t real. This can’t be happening. I’ll wake up tomorrow and everything will be fine. I’ve never felt this way before. I feel separated from what I know. Where is Rod Serling?” The bottom line is that I’ve been grieving. Understanding this helps me know, at least in part, how to respond to the time we are in.

For me, when grieving, I know it is so critical to emote, pray, give myself space to do nothing, acknowledge what has been lost, and realize that some of what I feel at the moment will have at least a slightly different flavor down the road. I also know it is vital to be gentle with myself, forgiving, and to recognize I am doing the best I can in a tough circumstance. Sometimes it is ok not to be ok and often I need to cut myself some slack. I also know that grief happens despite and in the midst of having deep faith and a love of God. Again, while our journeys are unique to each of us, I invite you to consider some of these points in your own life as we go through this shared experience.

I believe God is fully present and in charge. I trust that we will get through this as God’s beloved human kind. There are great people doing amazing, astonishing things every day to deal with this crisis. We have much to be grateful for and many that need our appreciation. I also understand, however, that many of us are grieving and that while we may not be grieving continually throughout each day, grief makes sense and it is ok. God gave us our hearts to feel not only joy, but sadness.

I along with our entire Chapel team are here to be helpful to you. We love you and so does our loving, sustaining, healing God.