Dear Class of 2020 Parents

Dear Class of 2020 Parents,

As we recognize and celebrate the class of 2021, we are also continuously reminded of all the activities the class of 2020 either didn’t get or looked remarkably different than anticipated.  There were canceled field trips, proms, senior awards, graduations and activities.  And while those activities may not look like they did before, many of them are happening now.  

As a class of 2020 parent, these activities may be bringing up unresolved feelings.  A year ago, we were just at the beginning of this pandemic.  You might have pushed your feelings aside to be fully present for your graduate.  Or maybe it felt frivolous to you to be grieving these activities when people were losing their lives.  Maybe your employment was impacted and you were busy learning new skills.  Whatever the reason, those unresolved feelings may be doing what unresolved feelings do, making themselves known.  

Signs you may have incomplete or unresolved grief include:

  • Irritability/Anger
  • Continued obsessing about what you or your child missed
  • Hyperalertness
  • Behavioral overreaction
  • Addictive/self-harming behaviors
  • Apathy/numbness
  • Difficulty sleeping/sleeping too much
  • Loss of appetite/Overeating
  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing on simple tasks

You are not alone

If you are experiencing any of the above signs, we want you to know you aren’t alone.  Many people are continuing to experience grief throughout this pandemic.  You can also experience grief and loss while still being excited for the Class of 2021.  Continuing to grieve your own losses doesn’t make you a bad friend, relative or co-worker.  

Shinzen Young, a mindfulness teacher, teaches suffering equals pain multiplied by resistance.  Considering this, one way to reduce your suffering would be to stop resisting your grief.  Instead, allow yourself to grieve your loss without judging your feelings.  

Other ways to resolve grief include talking about your feelings either to people you trust or have shared experience with, journaling and practicing mindfulness.  If you would like additional support processing your grief, please contact us at (217) 203-2008 or email us.   

Additional information can be found at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fixing-families/201706/six-signs-incomplete-grief