A picture of green leaves against a cream color wall

We are bringing “Darling Letters” from your inbox to the blog! We love the art of letter writing and believe it helps build authentic community. Our editors and contributors have thoughtfully written encouraging letters to cut through the busyness and speak straight to your heart.

In 2020, there was no shortage of moments where I found myself in a state of absolute frustration. From the announcement of a second completely virtual semester to the continued closure of my local gym, my list of inconveniences only seemed to grow as the pandemic lagged on. 

At first, I tried to keep myself in check. Hey, this isn’t so bad. Things could always be worse.

I’d remind myself over and over again that despite these life disruptions, my family and I were at homesafe and healthy. What more could I ask for? It seemed selfish to complain about missing coffee runs in between lectures and taking yoga classes with my friends when millions of people worldwide were losing work and even loved ones. 

What more could I ask for? It seemed selfish to complain…

In the grand scheme of things, of course these are minor losses in a time of such tragic and widespread loss. However, that reality doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to lament the little things the pandemic has taken from me. As the months have gone on, I’ve realized that it’s OK to grieve these losses. It’s OK to get sad because I miss my college life. It’s also OK to get sad because I miss crowded concerts, sports events and being in rooms with dozens and dozens of strangers. 

Just because your pain isn’t as evident as someone else’s doesn’t make it any less valid. We’re still in a global pandemic. We’re allowed to feel things, no matter how small and insignificant they might seem.

Just because your pain isn’t as evident as someone else’s doesn’t make it any less valid.

The next time you catch yourself stuffing or ignoring your emotions because you think your life is easy in comparison to someone else’s, remember you’re allowed to feel the little losses too. It doesn’t make you any less grateful for what you do have if you lament what you have lost.

Olivia Novato, the Darling family

Looking back on the past year, what are some losses that you are still dealing with? How have you learned to process grief? 

Image via Raisa Zwart Photography

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