Why It’s Important to Recognize Our Grief

Monique Cardenas, Guest writer

The last couple of weeks have been emotionally difficult for me. It has been hard to keep track of time and the days seem like a terribly long summer vacation, with no friends or pool days in sight. 

I’ve gone from FaceTiming my friends every day to now avoiding their calls. 

I know why I must be feeling this way, but it still feels like I wasn’t completely justified in my actions. 

The article, “Trouble Focusing? Not Sleeping? You May Be Grieving,” written by R.O. Kwon and published April 9 in The New York Times, came at a time when I truly needed it. Kwon states, “Consider how much has already been lost, and how much more we’re likely to lose: the lives already taken by the coronavirus, along with the lives currently in jeopardy, and exponentially more people falling ill every day.”

Quoting a psychotherapist she spoke with about grief, Kwon writes: “It’s also possible to use words to listen.”

I knew that I was feeling down, but to hear and read what I was going through was grief suddenly made me hyper-aware of the dark monster looming over my every move. 

I have experienced grief before in my life and I’ve healed from it. I have even became a better person because of it.

Kwon talks about how, as a country, we don’t deal with grief. Not only do we not talk about it, but often we don’t even know we are experiencing it. 

Kwon writes, “As a culture, we don’t talk about grief, we don’t make space for sadness.”

For the next week, I’ve made a schedule full of hobbies and “events” I’ll be taking part in, such as painting my nails all different colors, making playlists full of my favorite songs and watching The Great British Baking Show with my mom, swearing we could make a better soufflé. 

We are grieving, as a nation, as a world, as a human race. 

Here are a few things, what I like to call events, that help me deal with my grief. Maybe you’ll find some comfort in them as well.

  1. Watch The Great British Baking Show.
  2. Paint your nails and toenails.
  3. Learn how to do a headstand.
  4. Go to a virtual museum exhibit, or virtually ride your favorite DisneyLand ride.
  5. DoorDash your favorite comfort food and you could be helping out local businesses while you’re at it.
  6. Lay in bed all day. 
  7. Make playlists for different moods.
  8. Download the app TikTok (I swear you won’t regret it).
  9. Have a dance party in your favorite outfit.
  10. Cry.

Monique Cardenas is a DVC student from a Mass Media of Communication class.