People of all ages have considered their priorities and want to reconnect. Their priorities have shifted, and they appreciate friends and loved ones more.
1. Reconnecting with Family
Realizing a child we missed seeing grow quite a few inches gained new skills reminds us of the lost time. We may have spoken online and on the phone, but we still missed much without in-person connections. Hugs became a precious commodity, so we hug tighter and longer and give more hugs when we do get together.
There’s nothing quite like looking at someone and noticing changes. But that means more than hugs. We regain more when we look intently, enjoy smiles again, capture new memories with photos, and engage in new activities for post-covid fun.
All five of my children visited for my birthday, along with several of the grandchildren. Our new activity was just across the street at a park where the Scrub Jaybirds land on our heads.
2. Appreciating Loved One with Reunions
A generation or two ago, people held more reunions, but that waned as people moved further apart, got busier, and felt they had more options to stay in touch. Since covid, some people have promised themselves and others to stay in touch and meet up more often.
Christmas reunions are part of many family plans. That includes renting houses to gather in, planning activities to engage in, outdoor fun, and sharing favorite family foods. Games can consist of escape rooms, board games, and even devices connected to the computer to play in groups. When planning reunions, include plans for meals to fill the time and split expenses. Decide whether being together is all the gifts you need or if you want to exchange gifts (or simply bless your children with gifts). Mainly, focus on the joy of reuniting.
3. Grieving Lost Loved Ones
Social media became the place where sorrow spilled out, and people shared their stories and sadness. The loss of end-of-life services and funeral side hugs of comfort prolonged the grief process. Holding delayed services helps people share that grief and receive comfort from family and friends. These people still need more hugs and listening ears to share their memories and receive comfort and compassion.
Celebrations of life, which help people cope with loss, were delayed during quarantine. These finally started taking place and will continue. Elisa started calling her friend Sandy in February as her husband suffered a terminal illness. Their husbands had been lifelong friends, and she needed a listening ear from someone who understood. Sometimes she called five or more times a day. Sandy visited once quarantine ended and helped Elisa as she sorted her husband’s things.
4. Celebrating Loved Ones Lost
Some people chose to cope with grief by taking action. They initiated gatherings at church to share stories with others grieving, donated for memorials, volunteered at their loved one’s favorite charity, and created albums with photos and stories of their lost loved one.
Doing something positive can help people cope and celebrate the person. Nothing makes up for not being at their bedside, holding their hand one last time, or being able to comfort them, but choosing to connect with people or a professional counselor remains one of the best ways to cope.
For friends who lost jobs, celebrate as they finally find new ones. For those discouraged or depressed, encourage them to volunteer where they help others. That gets their minds off their own problems and brings joy as they see how they can impact lives.