Apollo and Artemis Attacking the Children of Niobe by Jacques-Louis David, 1772( public domain – Wikipedia)
“Grief, loss, sadnes are not the end of the story. They are the middle of the floor. Memory does not look backward, it looks forward.”
— Anne Michaels, 2020
We’re in the middle of a storey, alright. One that seems like the film Groundhog Day. The pandemic rampages on, and too many of our fellow citizens are going about their lives like nothing’s any different.
And it’s stimulate a good deal of grief.
If you crave a sense of the ultimate affliction, take a look at the epitome above. Jacques-Louis David represents a scene out of The Iliad and ancient Greek mythology.
Niobe was the daughter of Tantalus and the queen of Thebes. “Shes had” 12 or 14 children( depending on which storey “youre reading”) and proved her hubris by chiding Leto for only having two children.
Well, when you’re a daughter of Titan and your two children are the gods Apollo and Artemis, and( get this) you’re the goddess of motherhood — things are about to get messy really quickly.
In this case, Leto sent her children to coach Niobe a lesson: Apollo killed all of her lads and Artemis killed all of her daughters. Niobe refused to eat for nine eras, and her children get unburied during that time.
Finally, the gods lay them on the tenth day, and Niobe was turned into stone, perpetually moaning. She is supposedly represented by the nearby Weeping Rock on Mt. Sipylus in Turkey, which was like the face of a woman and features a natural spring.
A Modern Tragedy
If 2021 are parts of a Greek tragedy, it would seem that we have taunted the gods.
Having spent the previous year and a half contending against a storm pandemic, you’d think we would have the basics figured out by now. And more, we have parties still refusing to wear concealments and refusing to get vaccinated.
Meanwhile, there’s a palpable ability of thwarting, exhaustion, and grief.
We’re on a never-ending hamster wheel of the Kubler-Ross places of heartache as we cycle from denial to feeling to bargaining to hollow and finally to acceptance. Lather, bath, repeat.
In the outpouring of 2020, we were all forced into a situation in which we had to mourn for the loss of the normal: we vacated our positions, we stopped travelling, household affairs must only be shelved or canceled, and even funerals were put on hold or limited to parties of no more than ten.
In the paper “Mortal Soul, Moral Soul, ” Anne Michaels wondered about this collective suffering that we’re now facing 😛 TAGEND
“What does it necessitate when one’s most private, most profound experience, the change that chassis one’s life, is also the most intimate experience of thousands of others? What locate can be found for our private regret when set against the losses of entire commonwealths? ”
There are those who have suffered the loss of friends and family members to this pandemic. In one position or another, we’ve all lost something.
As a mother, it’s been difficult to watch our teens deal with the brand-new reality. Having to socially distance or wear masks–particularly at a time in their social development issues when doing or wearing anything different attains them pariahs on the level of Hester Prynne–is causing them frustration about the steal of their adolescence.
When we try to convey our understanding and share their frustration, they don’t believe we can truly understand it, because we didn’t have to live through a pandemic in our own childhoods.
While this is true, I found that when I became a father, I was granted with so many complex layers of spirits I didn’t realize I had before. And as my children grow, I feel them even more deeply.
I tear up more while watching movies, Tv shows, or even business sometimes. I feel a fluttering in my chest when I peek into my kids’ bedrooms to see them sleeping. I’m torn by angst when I identify them hurting.
Which accompanieds me back to the complaint: can I truly understand the flood of sensations this pandemic is uttering my high school elderly feel?
From a practical perspective , no. But my feeling speak is off the charts. I belief the issues to is: can we experience grief via empathy?
“Bereavement is a darkness impenetrable to the imagination of the unbereaved.”
— Iris Murdoch
For an answer to that, I turn to the medical subject. Consider the healthcare workers dealing with Covid cases. They’re beyond burned out. This is an ongoing acute situation with no end in sight. They’re losing patients and having to hold difficult conversations with family members–conversations that are devasting and impossibly frustrating.
It’s not extremely different from what oncologists have to deal with 😛 TAGEND
“Oncologists are exposed to suffering, loss, and demise, which can potentially lead to grief reactions. Although heartache over cases may be a natural result of the close and longstanding oncologist-patient relationship, the empathy that oncologists feel toward their patients may put them at risk for sorrow fatigue.”1
Grief isn’t just for healthcare workers during the pandemic. You’ve likely watched it in retail works, fast food employees, and in the well-documented poorly-behaved citizens who create viral places in some of these establishments.
The pandemic has released is not simply a virus among the workforce, but aspects of grief as well Whether through hollow, loneliness, distres, stress, or survivor shame, it’s more likely than not that members of your unit may be dealing with grief.
We often appreciate grief expressed as anger. We’re all on edge and are being pushed so far as the variant of the virus spreads.
What To Do for a Grieving Colleague
There is no question that grief is real, and has physical as well as mental impacts. You may be able to pick up on this from your unit. Undoubtedly, if you’re doing regular video announces, you should be attuned to their demeanor, picking up on the nonverbal clues as best you can.
You don’t need to be their healer, but you do need to be there for them: Simply inviting them, “Hey, how are you holding up? ” is enough to let them know that you’re sensitive to the current situation. Acknowledge it and allow them to have their feelings.
We all have different personal situations and we each need to deal with our unique bereavement in our own mode; not everyone handles things at the same pace or in the same manner.
If you feel like this is beyond your ability to handle it, tell them know what assets are available to them, or offer to help them track down what they need.
If we come together in times of suffering, we’ll find that it unites us and draws us closer. Having a shared experience–particularly one that is typically private–might seem difficult at first, but it’s a talent. A wonderful unifier.
Sharing grief and evidencing support for each other when we’re down improves rely. It takes vulnerability on the part of those who are suffering, and empathy on the part of those who want to help. Think of those who reached out to you when you were at a low time, and how that built you feel.
What was once intimate is now a shared knowledge, and what was pain and bereavement becomes delight and trust. What you might call “good” grief. And that’s not the end, either.
We’re still in the middle of the story.
Thanks, and I’ll see you on the internet.
The associated Timeless Leadership escapade was odd; I spoke with Peg Conway, whose baby died when Peg was just seven years old. The assignments of heartbreak and self-awareness are strong for anyone, including managers who need to recognize grief in themselves and their teams.
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