During our weekly Solace Zoom meetings we have been exploring what is called the 6th stage of grief. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross popularized the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance in her groundbreaking work. Of course, anyone of us knows through our own personal grief the stages don't proceed smoothly or seamlessly. Recently grief counselor David Kessler suggested a sixth stage of grief; meaning to help us develop hopefulness within the grieving process.
One of the quandaries we face with Covid 19 is what to make of it all. We live in a peculiar dimension where we experience that everything has changed while each day seems like Groundhog days so that each day seems to resemble the other. What a strange paradox; everything has changed and nothing seems to change!
In order to cope with our current new normal of sheltering in place our Solace groups have explored how to make meaning in our daily activities. Not everything is terrible, the Solace participants are finding. More family time, parent and children less rushed and looking forward to phone calls, Zooming or Facetiming are spawning a sense of hopefulness. Sharon Shuler mentioned that on Easter she and Rich Zoomed with their family members who live in a different state and country. Without the pandemic this Easter reunion wouldn't have taken place. New meaning arose within our crisis.
How we think about life's challenges makes all the difference. Victor Frankl who was a Holocaust survivor and one of the great minds of the 20th century teaches us "everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."
When we make hopeful meaning in our circumstances, we often discover our why in our daily living. Frankl says, "those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'."
For Christians the resurrection brings meaning to our grief. For the disciples, their sense of awe brought new meaning to lives. Yesterday, I shared this picture to bring awe to life. Enjoy!