There’s Just a Lot of Sadness Now

Are you noticing it too? I feel as though we’ve reached a point in the pandemic when people’s resilience is wearing down. Their intentions to make the best of things are harder to hang onto as the weeks drag on and the prospect of “normal” drifts ever further away.

I see this at the personal level. Three of my friends are in intense crisis, and my sister is, well, maybe not in crisis, but certainly struggling. One friend, a single mom, is on the brink of losing her business, and at the same time her son with autism is melting down without his normal structure. One friend’s husband is severely ill, perhaps dying, of cancer, and she can’t even accompany him to his painful daily chemotherapy treatments; she’s not allowed inside the hospital. One friend is teetering on the edge of leaving her marriage, torn up with guilt, uncertainty, sadness and fear. My sister lives alone and works mostly alone; she hasn’t touched another human being in two and a half months.

And at the societal level, it’s so much more apparent. While in most states the number of COVID cases are staying the same or increasing, people are having hate-filled battles over how much and how fast to reopen things. One of my favorite local restaurants has closed for good, swallowed up by the economic shut down.

Meanwhile, we have national leadership people in power that equivocate and posture and fail to deliver the information and testing and tracing that are sorely needed. We have people in power more concerned about appearances than people’s lives.

All this amidst a system of racial injustice that can’t take a break during the pandemic; on the contrary, the coronavirus hits black and brown people harder. Murder by police. Murder by white vigilantes in a pickup.

I’m basically okay. I’m more fortunate than most. I still have some work, and my husband does, too. Our income is reduced but sufficient for now. We are healthy and safe. My sons are as well. My mood is stable. So I’m well situated to be a supportive friend to my friends, to my sister. I’m able to donate a little money to a few organizations. I’m grateful for any chance I have to be a little useful, to give something back after so many have helped me out at different times.

Yet my heart is heavy. The problems are big, and the solutions are well beyond my capacity.

May I do the best I can. May I help others do the best they can. May we endure to create something better than this.

CREDIT: Photo by Luis Galvez on Unsplash


  1. I really resonate with this. I think a lot of people are starting to wake up to the reality that this isn’t just suddenly going to go away and that brings with it a deep sadness as many of us are at the limits of our resources. I’m in the UK and our ‘leadership’ is nearly as bad. I listened to Elizabeth Gilbert talk on a TED daily podcast from the start of lockdown, about empathetic overload and the difference between compassion and empathy being more vital than ever at this time. She’s so wise and insightful and human – I really recommend it if you have some free time xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks CB, I’ll look for it. I like Elizabeth Gilbert and often find her wise, in a lovely quirky way. Everyday I am trying to play talks, podcasts, and meditations that lift me up and reinvigorate some sense of hope. It’s so important in these difficult times.

      Take good care! xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • I love that she’s so wise but also funny and such a huge part of the world – some spiritual types can seem quite removed from things. I really agree about finding things that are uplifting at this time! Take care too xx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel the same. Last night, I was just wracked with the despair as I watched the protesting in Minneapolis. One minute, Cornel West is being brilliant on CNN– the next, CNN is letting the cops use their lobby for shelter and vilifying the protesters! The mix of media, spin, apathy, anger, violence, institutional oppression and systemic racism just got me. Never mind all of the peopleviolently protesting for reopening as hundreds of thousands of people die! I was listening just after to a podcast about Trump’s changes to processing asylum claims, which leave most asylum seekers stranded at the Mexican border, and vulnerable to kidnapping by cartels. I feel like he has hastened the sanctioning of violence that was always there, but is now unstoppable. PLUS! Aren’t we all still living through a pandemic? It was all way too much. yelled at my partner as she unloaded the dishwasher and made a but of noise that broke my focus. Woke up grumpy. I feel like I have no place to put my anger and sadness and despair today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, slantgirl, I want to come over with a plate of brownies and a hug to comfort you. The racism is sickening, and the way this administration just accelerates the goals of white supremacy is frightening.

      But we can’t despair. No, that’s wrong, we can feel moments of despair, of course. That’s only normal. But we need to buoy ourselves, look for the goodness and kindness, help one another, console one another, encourage one another. It will get better. I have days of discouragement, but overall, I do believe it will get better. We will make it that way. xxoo

      Liked by 1 person

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