Yesterday, I learned of the death of a writing acquaintance. I didn’t know her outside of our writing circle, but the loss still hit me. It immediately brought to mind other deaths that have impacted me in the past year. Standing outdoors in the sunshine yesterday afternoon, I looked up into the sky and the image of an escaping balloon came to me. Have you ever seen a balloon seller holding a fistful of balloon strings, only to have one balloon somehow escape and drift heavenward? The bunch of balloons that’s left behind is still colorful. But it’s changed. One balloon is missing.
The pandemic has brought significant change for us all. We talk about getting back to normal and can easily make the mistake of thinking it’ll be the same as it was before Covid-19. But there’s a global sense of grief to work through. The people I’ve lost didn’t die of Covid-19. But still, they were there before we all went into hibernation and they won’t be there when we get back together. Extended families, clubs, organizations, companies, and work places will be missing people. Not that all the missing people have died, necessarily, but they’ve pulled back, been let go, quit, or moved on. Things won’t be the same. And the best we can do is acknowledge that. And move forward.
Have you ever watched a drifting balloon climb higher and higher, until it’s no more than a tiny speck in the sky? A strange mix of loss and appreciation accompanies the sight. That’s how I feel right now, thinking about the losses of the past year. And I’m left trying to focus on appreciating every varied person and thing in my life — like colorful balloons tethered together in a big beautiful bunch. 🙂