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This evening, on the eve of the Inauguration, I watched coverage of the National Covid-19 Memorial. Tonight, we remember the 400,000 lives lost. As I listened to Lori, the nurse from Michigan, sing Amazing Grace, the tears just started to flow. Tears are words that need to be written.

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Covid-19 Memorial in Washington, Photo by AP/Evan Vucci

Over 8,200 people in Louisiana and 656 in New Orleans have died as a result of Covid-19.

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Covid-19 Memorial in New Orleans, Photo by David Mora

Hundreds of landmarks across the U.S. are lit up tonight.

This is the first time that as a country, we are acknowledging those Americans who lost their lives.

It’s time for healing. “To heal, we must remember. It’s hard, sometimes to remember. But that’s how we heal. It’s important to do that as a nation.”- President Elect-Joe Biden

Respect. Honor. Empathy.

“We gather tonight a nation in mourning. To pay tribute to lives lost. For months, we have grieved by ourselves…Tonight, we grieve & begin healing together.” -Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris

Grief is the internal meaning given to the experience of loss. Mourning is when you take that grief on the inside and express it.

Here are 5 Ways to Navigate Grief During a Pandemic

  • Acknowledge your feelings. It is OK to grieve. You do not have to hold it in, no matter how strong people may say that you are. Grief is “the price that we pay for love.”
  • Practice self-care. Self is care is doing whatever you need to do to make yourself feel whole. It’s not always spa days and bubble baths. Self-care can be meditation, journaling or taking a long walk.
  • Ask for help. It may feel like you are on this journey alone, but there are so many people who want to help, they just don’t know how. Let someone run an errand or prepare a meal.
  • Connect with others. Even though we are in the midst of the pandemic, there are still ways to connect with others. Coordinate a virtual meet-up or join a book club.
  • Take a break from the news or social media. The news can be triggering. Limit your exposure to news reports and social media.

There is no expiration on grief, so take as much time as you need. No one can tell you how to grieve. It is your journey, so be kind to yourself.