While writing this post, my husband and I received a call from the manager of our
adult son, Zach’s, group home—one roommate in Zach’s home has COVID-19 and is in the ICU and not doing well. Another roommate has COVID-19 and is quarantined in his bedroom. A staff member in Zach’s home has COVID-19 and is recovering at his own home.
More tears! Not as many as when we received the call of Zach’s original injury. But still, for the past twelve years we have had to adjust our hopes and dreams for our son frequently.
At first we hoped Zach would have a full recovery. We tried dozens of interventions hoping he would be able to move back home with us and return to his old high school.
After six weeks in the ICU and four months in acute rehab, medical professionals told us that Zach was not well enough to move home and had to attend a residential neurorehab school to have the best chance at a strong recovery. While there, we hoped that he would regain some skills and be able to have a simple job and live
with a roommate helper.
When we saw that this wasn’t going to happen, we hoped that we could find something meaningful for Zach to do in the world and find a good adult group home for him where he could enjoy living with age mates.
Now I hope he survives COVID-19 and that his faith sustains him in quarantine.
As Pauline Boss said above, in the early stages of ambiguous loss denial can be helpful. Maybe that’s where you were in the early stages of COVID-19 when we began sheltering in place, but as time has moved on, you may have had to find new hopes and dreams as schools moved online, and athletic seasons, performances, or graduations were cancelled. Or maybe you still have to find new hopes and dreams as your job or savings were lost.
Boss says, “Hoping too long for what used to be erodes resilience.” Many of us have been sheltering in place for 1½ months now. Take time to reflect: What are your new hopes and dreams?
Also, consider what Boss says about community: “…peoples’ stories, dreams, fears, and hopes can be expressed in the presence of others—friends, family, and peers.” She encourages us to “rediscover hope in human connections in a community.” (p. 181)
Last, consider studying the word hope in the book of Psalms. Psalm 42:5 says, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Scriptures encourage us to “…hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love.” (Ps 130:7a)
Photography by Bonnie Sanders