Gratitude for Grief, Solitude and Connection

Updated: Mar 23

By Nancy Bragg

My efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have had a huge impact on my life. My disease prevention measures continue to change how I eat, exercise, worship, shop, seek entertainment, and interact with family and friends. From the beginning, I wore a mask, washed my hands, and pushed people away not wanting to come within six feet of them. Although I knew I could always connect with my Divine through prayer and my angels were watching over me, I experienced a sense of loss in my need for human connection.

As a “live with” person, I am fortunate to “live with” my husband. And yet, my husband is a “live alone” person, who prefers not to have anyone in his personal space. As a result, he holes up in his den, so I hole up in our bedroom. We eat and sleep together, watch the Today Show and PBS News hour together, and walk outside and practice yoga together – which is all lovely. It’s enough for him. It’s not enough for me. I knew I was I missing something important for me. Yet I needed clarity and specifics about what was missing.

I came to realize that I was conflating going places and interacting with people. I routinely went many places and interacted with people in growth groups, worship services, classes, and gatherings of friends. I was powerfully attached to being in places where I could interact with people. I missed the energy, stimulation, and connection. Losing those opportunities was challenging. I felt numb staying home. Then I felt a sense of despair. It was as if many people in my life had died. No wonder it felt like grief, it was grief. Recognizing it as grief was good for me. I am grateful that my grief made me aware of my loss, my sadness, and my need for energy, stimulation, and connection.

So, I adapted. Going places was not as important as connecting with people. I encouraged former meaningful groups to transfer to Zoom. In April, I found this Morning Meditation group. Rather than relying on the convenience of people showing up at activities we have in common, I began intentionally reaching out to people I love and want to be with. I have devoted time to deepening my connection with those beloveds. I used to make elaborate plans to get together with two dear faraway friends. It only happened every year or so, we now Zoom every other week! Instead of being with our 3 sons twice a year, my husband and I now interact with them in a Family Zoom every other week. Instead of being with my sibs every year or so, we now plan to Zoom every other month. I don’t have to go anywhere to spend more time in solitude and stillness strengthening my relationships with my essence and my Divine. I can stay home.

From my dark place of feeling sad and alone in April, I emerged feeling the light and joy of connections and a deep sense of belonging. My grief led to gratitude. Thanks to COVID, I am not going places to be with people and my relationships are deeper and more meaningful.

The Miracle of Morning


- written in April 2020 during the COVID pandemic

I thought I’d awaken to a world in mourning.

Heavy clouds crowding, a society storming.

But there’s something different on this golden morning.

Something magical in the sunlight, wide and warming.

I see a dad with a stroller taking a jog.

Across the street, a bright-eyed girl chases her dog.