Dr. Corinne Masur
Now that things are opening up again and many children will be back in school until June and then off to camp or other activities, parents have a moment to reflect on this past year.
Never, ever, in any of our imaginations, could we have imagined a year like the one that we just had.
EVERYONE suffered so much loss.
Some of us lost loved ones, some of us were ill ourselves, and ALL of us lost smaller things: our peace of mind, our feeling of safety, our freedom of movement, our ability to see those we loved when and how we wanted.
Have any of us even acknowledged all the losses?
I think it is important to name them and to mourn them. I think it is important to give ourselves time to think about the past year and all we went through – and to grieve who and what we lost.
Mourning requires stability and internal resources and it may not be until life returns to a more normal state that many of us will actually be able to have the stability to reflect and grieve our losses from this past year. It is important to recognize this and give ourselves space and time for our grieving processes.
And we also need to go over this with our children – whether they are young ones or teenagers. We can say it over and over again: we ALL had a hard year last year. We need time to think about what we went through and to talk about it and to recover from it.
Whatever our children are experiencing now – elation over going out into the world again, anxiety about doing things they have not done for a year, or some of each, it will be important to remind them of what they have been through and how it has affected them AND us – and how different life will surely be going forward.