I am grieving…

As an expat living in Singapore, with a second the year of Covid restrictions continuing over our usual Summer holiday time, these are especially emotionally biting hard and I am in mourning.

I 100% appreciate that many people are grieving many losses and in no way do I disregard any of these sufferings.

Just some of the things I am grieving are, not being able

😥 to hug my aging Mum and enjoy being a daughter in the flesh again,
😥 to physically catch up with long term friends who’ve known me forever
😥 to travel freely and enjoy making memorable family experiences. I certainly have taken less family photos these last 2 years
😥 to connect my children with their overseas Aunts, Uncles and cousins and share quality moments. This is so important to 3rd culture kids.

A model defining Third Culture Kids by www.madisonzeller.com

A way towards helping ease some of this mourning is down to listening to the amazing former criminal John McAvoy‘s conversation with Dr Rangan Chatterjee on the Feel Better Live More podcast (my second favourite podcast show) during the first Singapore lockdown in 2020.

The advice John shared about his experience as a high security prison inmate when he was incarcerated in isolation, for 23 hours a day, for 365 days, in a 12 ft x 8 ft cell, put things into perspective and helped me manage my emotional state and remain sane amongst all our Singapore Covid restrictions.

My two simple and powerful takeaway bits of advice from John was –

  1. Give yourself a routine everyday which includes exercise and education.
  2. Don’t pin your hopes on a parole date because if it doesn’t happen you can’t deal with the disappointment.

The science of exercising every day and releasing your own ‘happy drugs’ are well researched and the release of endorphins are proven to help us deal with pain too. I find having regular daily routines involving exercise and education certainly helps me feel that I’m growing and not so ‘stuck’. In the last 18 months I’ve walked approximately 7km most days and listened to nearly a 1000 hours of podcasts. As a result I’ve grown muscles in both my calves and my brain 😀.

Disappointment impacts us when we expect things to happen at a certain time and or in a certain way. When we learn to accept rather than expect then we have fewer disappointments. I have to say that constant acceptance is a ‘work in progress’ for me! As Eckhart Tolle says,

‘God laughs as humans make plans’ and she’s laughing her head off now isn’t she?!

I think Covid grief needs to be processed and as the famous chorus in the children’s book ‘We Are Going On A Bear Hunt‘ says,

‘You can’t go over it, you can’t go under it, you can’t go around it, you must go through it’ .

I haven’t pinned my hopes on a parole date but I’m still mourning all that my family and I have missed. And that’s ok isn’t it. I wonder what are your Covid mourning experiences?