A Different Type of Grief (SAG)
During the new age of COVID-19, we have all experienced new and unforgettable things. I think we can agree that we experienced some sort of grief. I want to shine a light on a type of grief that I thought I was well passed. I can only describe this grief in terms of sending your child to school on the their first day ever and you are no longer their sole protector. I call it separation anxiety met with grief (SAG). Some parents cry. Some parents feel depressed. Some parents feel really sad as they know their child is leaving the nest for the first time. It can be a real scary thing for parents and kids alike.
Well, my wife and I decided to take on the challenge of homeschool/virtual school for our boys at the onset of the Pandemic. To say it was challenging, was an understatement. We managed to hang on for a year. During the process we learned a lot. We learned extreme patience (or lack thereof). We learned the boys could be challenged more than they were being challenged in school. We learned that we would be in a continuous state of supplementing their education, even when going back to school in person. We learned that we could do without conventional means of entertaining the boys such as summer camps and the likes. We spent a ton of time together cooking, building Legos, fishing, crafts, taking on new chores, talking and building good family time. An unintended byproduct of the boys staying home was that they made more friends in the neighborhood. There are roughly 25 kids on our block and they all started playing together ranging from ages 2-16. Parents even got to know each other much better. There was no separation based on age, gender, religion, ethnicity or culture. Everyone just blended together and had fun.
Well, this spring my boys went back to school in person. Their return to school was met with both excitement, sadness and grief. Once my boys returned to school, I never imagined I would experience SAG so soon. I thought the next time I would experience SAG would be when the boys went off to college. My wife and I were so used to dedicating all of our time to the boys with no time for ourselves. We even learned new routines to help us keep our sanity. We got really creative and had compressed homestyle date nights after the boys went to sleep.
With all that has transpired with COVID-19, I was extremely thankful for the opportunity to spend as much time as I did with both my wife and kids. My SAG quickly subsided as we moved back into our new routines. My latest routine is pulling out my chair to watch the kids laugh and play together every afternoon before dinner. I even have an occasion visitor join my routine. With all that has happened in my life, I try to focus on life’s positive attributes. It is the little things that count.