I’ve Experienced the Stages of Grief During the Coronavirus Pandemic 


Well, well, well… the c-virus is on my mind again. I’ve been thinking through this blog post all weekend and it’s finally time to put it all down.

Even though the conventional “five stages of grief” are considered bunk by most psychologists, the first stage of grief rung true for me. That is, of course, denial.

Like many of us, I was in denial. 

The 24-hour news cycle inundates us with terrifying news stories on a regular basis; it can be difficult to parse out what to take seriously and what to more or less ignore. I was busy. I was happy with the direction of my business and personal projects. I had exciting plans for the spring and summer. Upending my entire life because of a global pandemic was the last thing on my mind.
I just didn’t want to believe it. It was easier to ignore it – but I could feel my anxiety and the tightness in my chest starting to brew.

Reality set in and I started to panic.

It wasn’t long before denial was simply no longer an option. Businesses sent workers home. Entire school districts closed. Restaurants closed their dining rooms and some even changed their whole business model. There were no St. Patrick’s Day celebrations to be found. The shelves at the grocery store started to empty. The price of gas kept falling as fast as the stock market.
With a lump in my throat and tightness in my chest, I started to seriously worry. All my social media news feeds were flooded with articles, posts from friends, family, and other small businesses about COVID-19. It became abundantly clear that I had to realize that this was indeed going to affect everyone and everything I hold close to my heart.
In the midst of the frenzy, I knew had to do my part and take action.

After the initial panic, I took action. 

Despite my anxieties, I had to act.
I knew I needed to serve my family, friends, myself and my clients differently than ever before. I allowed my fear to motivate me: I made plans. I contacted clients. I prepared my business for the uncertainty ahead.
Promoting family sessions and other photography just doesn’t seem right at this time. Inspired by other photographers around the United States, today, I started my Sidewalk Sessions Project.
sidewalk sessions 2020
All in all, I knew I had to stay strong for the long-term wellbeing of my business, my relationships, and my sanity. I was able to acknowledge that, even though this was terrifying, I had to stay strong.

Now, amidst the quiet of social distancing, sorrow and fear wash over me. 

Still, the world has slowed down; almost everyone is at home, shut away from the outside world. For better or worse, this leaves me alone with our thoughts. It’s been in this quiet that my emotions have come to the forefront.
I can’t help but openly cry. My eyes have been glossier than a new coat of nail polish for the last 72 hours.
I have to tell you the truth, here—I cry because I’m both sad and afraid. I’m afraid for the business I’ve worked so hard to build. I’m afraid for my family members, particularly those who are older or who have preexisting health problems. I fear for my friends and their families. I weep for the people all over the world who’ve lost loved ones, or who may still lose them before this is over.

I recognize that it’s okay to feel big emotions. 

Even though I’m practicing social distancing, I’m not alone. I believe in humanity. I believe in empathy. I believe we will get through this.
I also believe that it is okay to “not be okay.” 
One way or another, we will get through this. While we’re on the uncertain journey, though, it’s okay to feel everything and anything we are currently feeling. I’m working to whatever extent I can to keep my businesses organized and afloat. I know I can do it and I hope to inspire others who are in the same situation.
There is great strength in vulnerability. These are scary, unprecedented times; it’s only natural that I sometimes need to cry, beg for kisses from my doggies, or hug my husband tighter.
Experiencing the Stages of Grief During the Coronavirus Pandemic 

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