Managing grief in a pandemic

Most of us thought we’d be out of here by now – the daily pressures of how to navigate this new world is getting kind of old. Is it safe to see our friends? What do I do about my job?  It looks like there is light at the end of the tunnel but the way is not yet clear.  Meanwhile we are still grieving losses, both old and new. Friendships that were broken. Spouses and other family members that have passed on.  Seven million humans who have died from Covid.

Sometimes feelings of grief appear to stem from events that occurred long ago.  A client who had mourned the loss of her mother that happened nine years ago.  Another who grieved the loss of her first marriage many years ago.  A widow who thought she had recovered from the death of a spouse is grappling again with the doubts about an uncertain future. Suddenly, after many years, the emotions welled up seemingly from nowhere to take over their lives.

Challenging astrological cycles do often coincide with painful events in our life, but whether the grief we feel is over a current loss or an old one, the feelings are the same.  Psychiatrists know that grief and emotional pain are stored in the psyche with the same intensity that they held during the original event. Chiron has been a great teacher and guide for astrologers’ understanding about the nature of grief, but Saturn and Pluto play a role as well.
Under Saturn transits we are painfully aware of our faults, our loneliness, and the blocks that keep us from our happiness.  Saturn is associated with depression which has a different tonal quality than grief.
Under Pluto transits we often find ourselves facing unpleasant truths and frightening memories from our past, and Pluto can bring up deep and dark emotions that unlock doors to emotional pain.  But it’s Chiron that opens the doorways for the emotional pain that we store in our psyche to spring forth into the conscious mind where it can, with conscious focus and attention, be processed and released.
Often a client will ask me, “When will this be over?  Will I ever be happy again?”  They will say “I don’t want to ever feel this again.”  We spend our lives running from our pain, but the problem with that is as long as we run, the pain remains stored in our psyche and our bodies.  Later it may erupt in physical pain and undiagnosable illness.
The pandemic has opened up these doorways and there is nowhere to run, which makes this is beautiful time to heal. What is required is the courage to look into our own soul and open the doorway to the feelings, to see what they have to tell us and to teach us.  It’s not an easy path, but it’s the only way to wholeness. ❤️

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