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Updated: Jul 19, 2020

By Helen

When it was obvious that our lives would be put on hold and home working and home schooling would be a reality, I felt mainly tired. It would be tough, but not insurmountable. We were counted amongst the privileged ones with a house, garden, loving family (mostly!), jobs which weren’t at risk and so much more. I felt thankful for those things, and then I felt guilty for being thankful when so many others would be hit so hard.

I felt guilty for not being a key worker and guilty for not having capacity to even volunteer a little bit of time to help those in need. And I felt just so tired. I shared my feelings with an online community and the wisdom and love just poured back to me. Many resonated with the same feelings which was reassuring; four children at home was a massive job in itself, be kind to yourself they said; there would be plenty of need beyond this first wave when you will have capacity to offer help, yes this will be true; my guilt, someone suggested, was perhaps misinterpreted grief, what a revelation!

Yes, I agreed, this was grief like we’ve never experienced before, no one was not affected, across the globe, grief was the universal experience. And it seemed important to recognise this feeling, not keep it squashed down and pretend that we will just get through and all will be well like we so often do, we must lament this coronavirus crisis and its devastating effects.

As we continue in lockdown the tough days seem to outweigh the not-so-tough days. I’m learning to find joy and hope in the small things: a sunny day, birdsong, buying some flour, seeing a frog in a stream, clapping our carers on Thursdays, saying hello to strangers, making family memories, half an hour of uninterrupted time. I hope this celebration of the small things will continue after lockdown. I am also hoping to feel less tired.

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