Creating a Culture of Care: Experiencing the COVID-19 Pandemic as Grief

Creating a Culture of Care: Experiencing the COVID-19 Pandemic as Grief

*Two Minute Read (Para leer en español, haga clic aquí)

Surreal. That’s the word I keep using to describe this time.  Sometimes it almost feels like we are all stuck in a weird movie together. (If it were Tiger King weird, it might be kind of fun.  But this is not that kind of weird.)

As I keep thinking through my feelings and thoughts, so much of what I’m struggling with is grief. I’m grieving the life I had just a few weeks ago.

I’m grieving the joys of coming to my office and seeing the kind and beautiful faces of my coworkers.

I’m grieving my kid’s show choir competitions, volleyball, softball and baseball seasons, as well as the final year at a school for two of the three.

I’m missing Orangetheory!

And I’m grieving not being able to hug my parents when I drop things on their doorstep.

It’s a lot!  And I know many of you are likely experiencing and feeling your own type and abundance of grief too.

We have all experienced some sort of grief in our lives. Maybe it was grieving a loved one or a pet, which is the most commonly recognized form of grief in our society. But what about divorce or marital separation? Moving (especially if it’s to a new city, state, or country)? Changing jobs? The transition of your child beginning school or college?

Grief is defined as the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior. So yes, any and all of these things, including living during a global pandemic, can create feelings of grief.

And unlike the loss of a loved one, this form of grief is asking you to let of go of something that still exists. Something you can still see, touch, and hear. Yet it’s no longer attainable. Reachable.

At the end of the day, they are all about loss. Losing a person, experience, life, dream, and hope that once existed.

One of the extra tricky things I’ve experienced about grief is that it never leaves us. It can decrease in size and the amount of impact it has on our daily lives. But for most of us, it never completely goes away.

This time we are living in right now will never leave us!  It is impacting us in ways that will change some of our views, perspectives, and feelings forever.

Once the stay-at-home order is lifted, life won’t pop right back to what it was in the beginning of 2020. We will all be changed likely in both good and difficult ways from this experience.

If we can start to accept and embrace that idea now, it might help us better cope once that transition arrives.

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 Stevie Cromer is the Cultural and Enrichment Manager for LUNA Language Services. Stevie regularly provides engaging content to LUNA’s team to encourage a culture of care within our own LUNA family. For more suggestions and resources about how you might build a culture of care throughout your organization, please reach out to Stevie at