I realized that grieving is not linear. It never is. I learned that memories pop out of nowhere in the quiet moments of the day and even in the middle of all the noise. And to be not okay is okay. I realized that there is no rule in grieving, except that we should somehow strive to be kind -- to be kind to ourselves as much as to be kind to others.
While life goes on during this pandemic, I find it hard to process our loss sometimes. When I see news of more people losing their loved ones or people getting hungry, I feel we are all going through something historically quietly traumatic each day. I feel somehow the deaths we have encountered in recent times bring us closer to one another that somehow we understand how it feels to lose someone so dear to us.
Death is a concept that I thought I understood well through empathy or through listening to others, but a new concept altogether when it happened this close to my heart. This time I had to process it with myself.
To process death during a pandemic is quite hard. Collectively at this time, we have lost important people to us and yet there are days we fear for our own and for our loved ones who are still alive. As our father would say, as long as we're alive, there's hope.
We have all these days of our lives. Days that we grieve. Days that we hope. Days that we fight. Days that we pray. Days that we support those around us. Days that we cry. Days that we laugh and joke. Days that we get mad. Days that we forgive. Days that we let go of hurt. Days that we are thankful for the present. Days that we think of the new future. Days that we remember. Days that we adapt.
Change those days into moments. And there's my understanding of grief.
Together, we hope that one day we will all rise from this. And that when we remember this time, we remember our loved ones and the lives they have lived. For me, after all this, I would always remember my dad. He served a greater purpose. And when my siblings and I find ourselves playing our unique roles in this pandemic, it's because both our parents always taught us to be purposeful and kind.
Lala is an Artist, Teacher, Writer, Entrepreneur, and Mom of three boys. This is her tribute to her father, Dr. Raul Jara, one of the inspiring heroes we lost to the Covid-29 pandemic.