On February 20, 2020 my family embarked on a major life change. We went under contract for two homes: one to sell, and one to buy. The past month and a half have been a blur as we packed up our home of nearly 10 years, spruced her up for the new owners, planned what we would need in our new home, closed on both homes, and moved into our new one. Oh, and there’s word of a nasty new virus going around.
Naturally, with any move, your life is uprooted overnight. However, most often, that move is accompanied with trips to the hardware store picking out new paint colors, flooring, cleaning products, and knocking out a few home improvement projects. There’s a thrill about making a new place your own and then inviting friends over. All of that is put on hold … for now.
Throughout the move and the start of quarantine, I maintained a relatively positive attitude. I had more than enough time to clean the new home, unpack and organize a little, and set up the dining room for school for the kids. However, after nearly two weeks in our house, I found myself extremely emotional. I was fighting tears, anger, and frustration, but couldn’t pinpoint why. Where were all of these emotions coming from? I felt silly for being emotional when there is so much going on in the world – especially when we have been blessed with a new home and are all healthy.
As I shared these feelings with my husband, he validated them. He pointed out that I was mourning what things should look like right now. I was mourning the time to nest. I was mourning the loss of celebration. This should be a time of people coming in and out my house – friends, family, and contractors (let’s face it, I’m ready to begin the facelift) – but, instead, the doorbell is silent. There is no housewarming party.
That familiar wave of emotions came again when I had to cancel an upcoming trip to one of my favorite places. I remember crying tears of joy when I booked the ticket, and then a flood of tears when I canceled the ticket. And another wave when my sister and her family in New York had to cancel their annual trip to Louisiana. Wave after wave of … grief. It has a name. It’s how we respond to loss. There is a lot of it to process right now even if you’re staying high and dry in the middle of a downpour.
This month and in the weeks ahead there will be:
- award ceremonies
- dance recitals
- new business openings
- First communions, baby dedications and baptisms
- healings from illnesses and releases from the hospital
- family reunions
And more. So much more that we are so accustomed to celebrating with fanfare, hugs, and quality time together. In case you need permission like I did, it’s ok to momentarily mourn the loss of celebration as long as we don’t dwell there. Take a moment, get it out, then find a new way to celebrate. Let us not allow this virus to steal our joy in celebrating all that life has to give. Friends, one day soon, we will never again take for granted the people in our lives and the opportunities to celebrate with them.