Here we are at the end of another school year, with summer at our feet and a deep breath on the horizon. Yet, as we come to yet another close, it feels more like someone pulled the rug out and left me gasping for air on the ground than inspiring that fresh air of freedom. Final Zooms and Chapels, while wonderful, serve as a reminder that things are very different at the moment. The closure that a hug or an end-of-the-year “high five” might normally offer are gone, and the chances to cram together to celebrate our students’ achievements have changed.
Change. Change can be a great and much needed opportunity for growth or renewal. Change can usher in uncertainty or halt progress altogether. Change is inevitable, and it’s here, or rather always has been. This time has felt like a curse to some, and a blessing to others, and just plain strange for all. As I have been trying to process these changes that COVID-19 has brought about, I have tried to focus on the positives as well as acknowledge the negatives. And in doing so I have been visited by an old friend, and his name is “Grief.”
I was taught by one of my wisest mentors that “Grief has many faces, and absolutely no timeline or rules.” We can grieve for the loss of a pet or loved one or of a job or possession. Some event that happened to us or someone close, or even the fact that something we thought would happen but did not can lead us to Grief. Grief itself is not the enemy here but as I shared, like an old friend because grief helps bring clarity to our lives with time.
In Ecclesiastes 3: 1 - 8, we are reminded that “For everything there is a season...a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” I have heard this shared at funerals, national tragedies, and world disasters. It is important to mourn and grieve for what was not, and to give our children permission to do the same, but I have always paid more attention to “laugh” and “dance.” There can and should be Hope and Joy, if not now, then shortly on the horizon because change is coming.
So we hope that this edition of the Eagle Counseling Newsletter helps you and ultimately your children grieve well and celebrate the growth through change that is happening now. This is a time for grace, for making a “big deal” of the little and big victories, and for celebrating our students and our families for the gift that they are. Laugh and dance with them, even when it is silly or does not make sense, because being together is a great and marvelous gift. We look forward to when we can laugh and dance with you as well, and God’s peace and joy be with you and your family.
The Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief
Gary Prindiville is the school counselor and a middle school theology teacher at Prince of Peace Christian School and Early Learning Center in Carrollton, TX. Visit the Contact page for more information.
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