Grieving for What Was Lost Because of COVID-19

Photo by Shane on Unsplash

Let me just start with this: I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine how hard this is for you. Grieving is completely normal.

Due to COVID-19, many people have lost jobs, family members and loved ones, and anticipated trips. We have lost graduations, missions, weddings, and other major life events. Whether it’s the loss of these things or something else equally as devastating, this pandemic has successfully ruined almost all of our plans.

Related Link: Good Grief: How to Support a Grieving Friend 

A Change of Plans

Grieving a wedding due to COVID-19.

Personally, I have experienced the loss of a temple wedding. Some may think that this is superficial because you can just do it later, but I have to be honest, I have had to grieve this loss.

As the past couple of months have progressed our plans have had to change so many times. The temple we had an appointment with closed for living ordinances. Finally, all church buildings and venues closed to the public. Family members could no longer travel because they are on lockdown or quarantine. Then all of the temples closed.

I have never imagined my wedding without my family. Without a reception. Without any of the things that I have wanted since I was 5 years old. But most notably, without temple ordinances.

I have gone through all 5 stages of grief trying to understand why this is happening right now. It’s kind of hard to talk about this because people are dying! This seems like such a trivial thing to stress over and cry about.

In my mind, it seems like every other wedding I’ve been a part of has been perfect. While of course, not everything went perfectly to plan, they got to wear their dresses and hold their flowers and be with their families.

Most importantly, they got to kneel at an altar and make sacred covenants that I am just as worthy to make but am not currently capable of making because of COVID-19.

I have worked and looked forward to making these covenants my whole life. I have found myself becoming jealous of those brides who got their “perfect day.”

Everyone is Grieving

Grieving graduation due to COVID-19.
The Graduation. Picture by Andre Hunter on Unsplash.

This example can be applied to those graduating high school seniors who may feel a similar sense of jealousy. Those who didn’t get their senior prom, graduation, graduation party, or any of the things that make wrapping up your high school experience so important. For you I just need to say, it’s okay to grieve these things and I’m so sorry that you have to.

Some returned missionaries feel like they are not where they are supposed to be. The Lord called them to their area of service and then seemingly ripped them away, in some cases after a few days. They may be struggling with what to do next. Again, it’s okay to grieve your mission and I’m so sorry that you even have to.

These are just a couple of common examples, but whatever you are missing out on or grieving, don’t think that you have to lessen how you feel because everyone is being affected.

While most of these things can be rescheduled, resumed, or postponed, it is important to allow yourself to grieve because the future is still looking like a big fat question mark.  Doing this gives us the opportunity to gain perspective.

For example, in grieving my dreams about a wedding, I realized that while a temple sealing may not be an option right now, I can still be civilly married in the meantime. Because of these circumstances, I have been blessed with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for temple covenants. I know that one day I will have the opportunity to be sealed in the temple.

Related Link: 11 Essential Aspects of Being Grateful 

One Last Reminder

Grieving what you lost to COVID-19.
Grieving together.

While the things that we are currently struggling with may seem to overtake our lives and minds, we do not have to wallow. It’s okay if you do it for a minute, trust me, I have done my fair share of wallowing. Just remember that the Lord has a plan.

His ways are higher than our ways, and whatever you are missing out on because of COVID-19, the Lord sees it and knows your sacrifice.

What are you doing to find gratitude during the current pandemic? 

Zoë Holyoak is currently a BYU student, photographer, and writer. Her hobbies include long walks through the ice cream aisle at the grocery store and correcting bad grammar. She is also a proud member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served a mission for the Church in Portland, Oregon.