I, am a Wedding Planner.
Over the past three months, those five little words have brought sadness and empathy from friends, family, and new people I meet.
The entire process of learning about COVID-19, realizing that Stay-At-Home Orders are happening, and accepting this new and strange reality has really been tough in our house. Walking through postponements, waiting for updates from our government, and watching big dreams fly away, has been difficult, to say the least. So, as part of my day, I’ve been journaling more often and I have found that it has helped me to walk through my grief.
Grief is a strange emotion. One that I often forget, until it hits me like a tidal wave, knocking me off my feet and out to deeper, uncertain waters.When we have a change in life, I think it is really important to walk yourself through your grief. Whether it’s having to cancel your original wedding – postponement, rescheduling, changing to an elopement style, or hosting a micro-wedding. Whether it’s having to rethink your plans, because someone else’s health and safety is so much more important. It doesn’t matter what the change is, it’s hard and embracing your feelings around it is important.
The Stages of Grief
- Shock – The first stage, where most people spent some time when this pandemic began. Paralysis of hearing the news, acting out of necessity, not our previously planned course of action.
- Denial – The second stage, where we disregard even the most common sense ideas and actions. Attempts to circumvent the impending requirements.
- Anger – The third stage, where our denial sends us, because this can’t “happen to me”. Outbursts of emotion; frustration, rage, contempt, panic, worry, resentment, etc.
- Bargaining – The fourth stage, where we see what we can change to make things better, even though the original dream can no longer manifest. Searching for changes we can tolerate.
- Depression – The fifth stage, where we sit when we realize that this is the new reality and we have to move through it. Understanding this unavoidable delay and change.
- Testing – The sixth stage, where we search for alternatives that fit who we are and what we want next in life. Hunting for possible clarification and adjustment of our expectations.
- Acceptance – The seventh stage, where we finally find our way forward. Acknowledgement that the changes, adjustments, and new way of life are here for now.
Please know that everyone experiences these stages differently. Not everyone follows them one by one. Sometimes, we jump between them, completely out of order. Sometimes, we go through them and get stuck halfway. Sometimes, we go straight to the end, not really having gone through each one. Take your time. Give grace to yourself and others. Be patient.
We’re all in this together.