Creating Spaces for Grieving and Receiving by Anjeanette LeBoeuf


By now, all aspects of life have been altered or halted. The world as we know it has become radically different as we attempt to get a handle on this disease and stop the rising number of deaths each day. We are enduring trauma on a global and individual level. Trauma carries a myriad of emotions; anger and grief sometimes being the prominent two.  And with the rising uncertainty paired with the increasing amount of trauma and grief we are all experiencing, we need to find ways to talk about our feelings, share, and move forward.

As a global community, as a family, and as individuals we are impacted on all fronts. And the only way through this is that we must grieve. All people, even those that can work from home, those that continue to work ‘in’ the world, and everyone in-between. Everyone’s life has been altered in many ways and degrees. Expectations, plans, and standards of achievements have had to be put aside. We have had to adapt to a different way of life. Prom, tests, graduations, weddings, birthdays, holidays, and even funerals have had to fluctuate between being postponed, cancelled, or reworked to fulfill the lack of physical meetings. Currently over 22 million Americans had applied for unemployment benefits, countless others have seen their hours reduced, been placed on furlough, or sought employment at a company that is considered ‘essential business.’

The constant changing with the continue growing number of those who have been infected with COVID-19 comes the need to create space once more – space to receive tenderness and kindness, to find ways to grow stronger and more compassionate. And to create spaces for grief, a space where trauma is held tenderly and carefully so we all can metabolize what our daily life and world is. Which seems to swiftly changing with every new day.

The definition of pandemic states that a country, continent, or global is stricken by a disease, a general universal phenomenon. And while there is no denying that we are suffering a pandemic from a disease, I am also keenly aware that as a society and as humans, we had been suffering from toxic views, emotions, and actions. Here at FeminismandReligion.com we have written post after post talking about how we humans have been killing animals, each other, and the planet. The blog posts have helped to bring to light issues and problems which have long been kept silenced. One of the greatest outcomes of this Blog is that it has created space. Space for writers and readers to communicate, be in solidarity, find solace, and receive encouragement.

silence and space

I have held many conversations with many different people in my life where we have held space for each other; talked about how they are experiencing this pandemic, what is happening in their life, and how they are coping. And so here I am for my March post, creating a blogspace for us to metabolize our traumas, express our grief, share our trials and our joys, and to find ways to acknowledge the collateral beauty that has surrounded us.

healing space

May this blog post be a witness to the trauma, grief, anger, fear, and uncertainty. May it be a place for you to take a moment to breath deep and reconnect with your spirit and with our collective consciousness. One of the things I know in my bones, is that the way through this is together.

 

holding space quote

 

Anjeanette LeBoeuf is currently hunkering down, catching up on books and shows, knitting, and trying not to buy everything on the internet during this COVID19 pandemic. She is the Queer Advocate for the Western Region of the American Academy of Religion. Anjeanette also writes for the activist blog, Engaged Gaze. Her focuses are divided between South Asian religions and religion and popular culture. She has become focused on exploring the representations of women in all forms of popular culture and how religion plays into them. She is an avid supporter of both soccer and hockey. She is also a television and movie buff which probably takes way too much of her time, but she enjoys every minute of it. Anjeanette has had a love affair with books from a very young age and always finds time in her demanding academic career to crack open a new book.



Categories: General, Grief

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

7 replies

  1. This is what I needed to hear today. I have a lot going on. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for reminding me that grief is often expressed by anger… it helps me deal with the human response to the seriousness of this pandemic… I need to be reminded that anger is a way of coping with fear. Many days now I feel anger…

    I am really frightened by the depth of the selfishness of some of the protesters in this country – if these folks get their way this pandemic many continue for a long long time.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sara,

      Thank you for your words. And I hear you, I see you, and I hold witness to your emotions during this perilous time.
      It has been one of the hardest lessons during this pandemic to acknowledge that people’s actions – however illogical, unethical, and dangerous can be due to how they are processing everything that is happening – a product of a system which is overloaded with fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, and feeling out of control.

      I have also felt anger at many things and people. I am encouraged that spaces for discourse are still being created to which we can process, unburden, and find ways to move forward.

      Like

  3. Brava! Many thanks for writing this post. Yes, we’re going through very difficult times, and for some people survival is difficult. Like Sara, I just don’t understand and am frightened and angered by the selfishness of some of the protestors, who seem not to care if the disease spreads or not. I’m pretty sure this attitude has come down from the incompetent, inhuman creature that inhabits the White House.

    Let’s all hold space for ourselves and for other people, even if that space is “socially distant.” It can still be sacred space for all of us.

    Bright blessings on a foggy Sunday morning in SoCal. It was foggy all day yesterday. I live five blocks from the ocean and maybe a mile from the ports, where 20+ oil tankers are lurking. That means I got to listen to fog horns all day yesterday, sounding so the tankers don’t bump into each other. More social distancing, I guess. Fog horns can be comforting sounds that indicate that captains are holding space.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Barbara,

    I am grateful for your thoughts and on your reflection on the fog horns. It served as a reminder to me at how certain sounds which had accompanied frantic busy life pre-COVID19 have radically diminished and how that can be equally a sadness and a blessing. I live across the street from a highschool and used to be able to hear the school bell, swim meets, and sporting events – now there are none of those. Yet I am encouraged in the silence as it means there are certain plans in place for our community to stay safe.

    Like

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