In her 1969 book “On Death and Dying,” Swiss American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross introduced her theory that there are five stages of grief people experience when faced with a loss – denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Before her own death in 2004, she interjected shock and testing. I admit I’ve certainly experienced shock and anger but would like to add my own stage – forging ahead!
Having lost a husband after an eight-and-a-half-year long illness and nine months of home hospice, I’m very familiar with self-quarantining as they like to call it, and the accompanying depression, irritability and sense of hopelessness. I experience ‘cabin fever’ in the winter too so I’ve developed an action plan or sorts if I find myself housebound again.
As many readers of my column know, I gave up cable television five months ago. This means, for better or worse, I don’t have access to the 24-hour news cycle. I do have KBTX and can get Fox News programming in 10-minute segments. After watching about six of these late last night, it left me so depressed I finally said to ‘Self’ – enough!
Maybe I’m in denial about how long this will last but I’m not ready to give in to the pessimism just yet. I’m not going to isolate myself from the news but have chosen to get it from KBTX morning and evening news. Why? Because they have a limited amount of time to get their message out and will cut to the chase with the most important updates and information. If you are a 24-hour news channel, you have to fill the airtime, and 24-hours of doom and gloom has a profound effect on my psyche.
While many people will get paid leave, a large percentage of people will not and that includes independent contractors like me. While it’s not exactly going into the jungles of Vietnam as a war correspondent, I will continue to be available to report news as long as the Examiner wants or needs me. Yes, I need the money but more importantly, what we are going through will soon be our history, and The Examiner has been reporting the history of Grimes County for 125 years – why stop now?
Having been a caregiver with only a two-hour window a couple of days a week to go to the grocery store, I learned that I got a lot of mileage out of just standing outside in my yard and feeling nature. So, if you choose to isolate yourself inside with family or if you live alone, I urge you to take care of your mental health by going outside a little each day. Don’t forget to support our
Don’t forget to support our local shop owners. We have some like 4141 Coffeehouse who provide home delivery and curb service. Some of our merchants like P. Nemir already offer online shopping. Call your favorite business and ask if they plan to expand their services.
As trite as this sounds, this may be the time to take care of some of those projects that have been put on the back burner. I completed a massive family photo project while caring for my husband. If I am forced to stay inside, I will probably do something with all those quilt kits I bought for my retirement! My point is, do something constructive and creative to take your mind off what you can’t control and focus on what you can.
As we willingly accept being told what to do, how to do it and how many to do it with as a nation, maybe this New Testament scripture from Revelation 3:2 will provide some individual incentive to forge ahead, “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.”
Connie Clements is a freelance reporter and award-winning columnist. She writes feature news articles on a weekly basis and an opinion column as the mood strikes her.