Meaning making machine

I’ve seen a lot of posts recently about how we must make the most of the pandemic situation. Find new opportunities and be grateful for all the things that we do have. I too have been trying to make sense of it all through my writing. I was meaning making. But in doing so, I made a fundamental error. I shared my own perspectives without bringing awareness of others.

We are in a collective global pandemic ALL at the same time. However, that doesn’t mean we are all experiencing the same thing.

If I said we are exhibiting the emotion of grief, many of you would say,“no it’s not grief. Grief is only reserved for those that have loved ones who have died.”

Grief is defined as…the loss of something.

It doesn’t have to necessarily be a loved one. It can be loss of:





Physical touch

Family gatherings

Grief has a framework of stages (Kubler-Ross model). The caveat here is that not all of them will apply to everyone and people can naturally take these stages in different orders and speeds. No one way is right or wrong, just different.

Stage 1: Shock

Stage 2: Denial

Stage 3: Anger

Stage 4: Bargaining

Stage 5: Depression

Stage 6: Acceptance

Stage 7: Meaning

When I think through my own experience of this pandemic so far I can definitely see these stages. The same weekend we moved out of our house and into a rental property to start our extension project. The media reported the case of Steve Walsh, the business man who had been at a conference in Singapore and went skiing on the way home, infecting 11 others with covid19. Within a matter of 2 weeks the world looked very different. I went from meeting friends for pancake brunch on a workday to having 3 children at home full time, and me and Mark also working from home. It was most definitely a shock to the system. With this came denial. How could this be happening in this day and age? I moved into anger. Why weren’t people taking this seriously? Why were the government not implementing full social distancing? I had to shield my mum and dad before the government’s advice even came into force 1.5 weeks later. I moved into bargaining stage. Okay so we can’t see my mum and dad in their house as this is a confined space but maybe we could still go for walks keeping 2 metres apart? Then came the realisation. I couldn’t stand it if I was the one to compromise my mum and dads health not to mention anyone else’s. I’m not sure if it was anger but it was a mixture of fear and emotional outbursts. Then came acceptance of the situation and trying to find a rhythm to each day and enjoy the daily exercise that we can take. I also moved into meaning making last week trying to dig deep into my deepest fears about life and death.

I shared a quote in my Facebook group,

“In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.” – Dave Hollis

In the anger stage that quote could be potentially triggering, whereas in the acceptance stage it might be thought provoking.

Making meaning isn’t always about going deep. It can also be about labelling moments that are meaningful during this time.

Yesterday I found one of those moments. After the children picked a bundle of dandelions they requested lion headbands and armbands. It was a moment of pure joy to see them roaring together. A moment with meaning in a very strange time in our lives.

So hit reply. Tell me, what stage of grief (if any) do you currently feel you are at and have you had a moment during this lockdown that has been meaningful?

Want to learn more about the stages of grief during covid19? Listen to this fantastic podcast with Brene Brown and David Kessler on the topic.

I had drawn the conclusion that this pandemic was a once in a lifetime event. However, this week I read an article that said pandemics were set to increase in frequency to approximately once every 13 years. What!!??? But it turns out two thirds of these will be new seasonal flu’s.