On the day of my 25th birthday, the pandemic finally reached India. It’s safe to say it wasn’t much of a celebration since the entire country was in a state of frenzy. But that did not make me feel any better, I am still grieving the loss of this important day, and I’m not alone.
All of us have missed important life milestones during the pandemic. It has been 4-5 months since the first lockdown was imposed in India. Some of us missed our graduation, some their last few days of college and some had to cancel weddings.
Though people will try to make you feel better by saying that you should be grateful that you are safe and healthy (as you should be), it does not fill the void. It does not take away from your misery and it is completely okay to feel bad about you. You shouldn’t be guilty. The only way we can actually feel better is to make up for the void that has been left within us by those moments.
Couldn’t make it to your farewell dinner? Promise yourself a farewell party once the pandemic passes. Couldn’t make it to your best friend’s wedding? Hold a private dinner for them once this is over. We can only plan, and move forward, with the hope that we will make up for these lost memories.
Both social and educational milestones have been set back, but we have found ways to cope with it. Being children of the internet, we are well versed with replacing actual human contact with virtual. Which somehow is just as comforting. We’re attending our new colleges, giving exams online and working from home.
According to Jeffrey Arnett, a research professor of psychology at Clark University many will feel sad, anxious and scared about missing important moments. However, those with a good support system of family and friends will find it easier to cope.
This is going to bring us closer to the people who mean most to us, and for a lot of us, I think any crisis has a clarifying effect about what really matters and what does not. And I think this crisis is likely to provide that clarity.
We will find ourselves spending more time with those who make us feel happier. Celebrating with fewer, yet more meaningful people. So if you, like me, are upset over missing something important, make up for it, every single day in lockdown. Cook for yourself, throw yourself a virtual party and do things that genuinely make you happy. And most importantly, don’t beat yourself up over being upset, it’s okay to not be okay.