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Anniversaries: One Year of the Covid Pandemic

Anniversaries: One Year of the Covid Pandemic

March 13, 2020 is a date many will never forget.

It is often thought of as the last day of normal life because after that day businesses and schools began shutting down.  This week we acknowledge the anniversary of the day the Covid-19 pandemic hit home and quarantine life began.

Anniversaries of events can be powerful, emotional experiences. We celebrate anniversaries of many things such as our wedding day, first day in a job, the day we were born. We also mourn anniversaries such as the day a loved one passed or a tragic event.

I’m sure none of us ever imagined a year of living through a pandemic.

This is the stuff movies are made of, not our real lives. Yet, here we are, one year later. Thankfully there is hope on the horizon with vaccines rolling out. But it’s not over yet, and it is important to acknowledge this strange universal anniversary that is upon us.

What do you remember about a year ago?

Who can forget the toilet paper shortage? Did you think it wasn’t a big deal, it’ll be over in two weeks, as many people did?

Were you anxious and afraid? Confused? Maybe all of the above.

Everybody’s experiences of this pandemic have been subjective and individual. Even within each person, their feelings and memories can be conflicting, maybe remembering fear and uncertainty, but also remembering fondly the extra family time and home organizing, more cooking and walks around the neighborhood.

There are no right or wrong responses, but take a moment to acknowledge what this last year has been like for you, the good, the bad, the strange, the scary. It’s all real and all understandable. Even if your thoughts and feelings differ from others, they’re your reality and deserve your validation and acknowledgement.

When we celebrate an anniversary, we have guidelines on how to do so.

We may buy a card, have a cake or a party. When it’s a negative anniversary, there is less guidance on ways to mourn and acknowledge. And certainly for a pandemic, there is no precedence on how to process this type of anniversary.

So, we get to figure that out for ourselves. 

What would feel right for you personally to remember the beginning of the pandemic and all this year has been to you and your family? One way to figure this out might be to sit down with paper and pen and stream of conscious write down what words, memories, emotions or phrases come to mind for you. A lot occurred over this past year, so give yourself some time and space to explore, process and release what you’ve been through. Remember not to judge what is or isn’t there.

Then allow yourself to look forward. What are your hopes for this next year? What are you grateful for right now?

Also, please remember that no matter how difficult this past year has been, you have gotten through it. Give yourself credit for doing your best, you deserve it. If you could use some support navigating this anniversary, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Be well.

Kathy Most
Therapist in Westfield, NJ
908-499-5491
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