The stories of heartbreak grow as families are separated and not able to say goodbye to loved ones. As the amount of COVID-19 cases increases, so does the death toll. However, besides the coronavirus unifying the country, the power of uplifting messages is, too.
In the first few days of quarantine, I watched social media closely. Unfathomable, unexpected, and surreal are all words that have been used on social media as the summation of the year 2020 so far.
Although impactful, none of them begin to touch the feeling of ephemeral hopelessness that overcame me. In the days where I am supposed to be exuberantly joyful and exploring all the world has to offer me, I find myself making the decision to stay in shut-ins to save those who are at-risk. I was called reckless and stupid for saying goodbye to my best friend in person, and I haven’t slept in days as I search for the morsels of peace that allow me to find my breath again.
About three days into self-isolation, something made me smile. My friend posted that she was engaged.
Of all the messages and posts I had seen, this one impacted me the most. Through all the pain in the world, there were people realizing that they want to spend whatever time they have left loving that one person.
As I turned on the news, I saw a story of a man who stepped out onto his balcony and saw a woman on her apartment building’s roof, filming a Tik Tok. The man flew his drone over to her with his phone number attached and the two are now planning their first date once quarantine ends.
Another story that stood out to me was the marriage of Bindi Irwin, daughter of Steve Irwin, and Chandler Powell on Wednesday. Hours before lockdown took effect, the two walked down the aisle in the Australia Zoo’s garden. No guests were in attendance except for three close relatives. In an Instagram caption announcing their marriage, Irwin said, “Remember LOVE WINS!” capturing the message needed in this dark time.
My heart goes out to the brides whose big days have been interrupted with this unforeseeable tragedy. It’s OK to be sad, just as any athlete or senior has experienced in this time. It’s still a disappointing time for many people.
This past week my grandmother had another one of her 25th birthday parties, and our whole family tuned in via video chat and played games and sang to her. It was the highlight of my week and I look forward to what we come up with next.
Let this time serve as a healing period and a reminder to spread a little more love. Reach out and connect with your loved ones with a fuller heart and a more grateful soul.