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Letter: Pandemic frustrating for everyone, so local senior offers some words of solace

Kevin Shanahan said he’s realized ‘keeping myself safe is all I can do’
Kevin Shanahan. (Supplied)

I had just parked in my laneway. Snow was falling, ever so gently, and the sun breaking through the clouds made them look so hypnotizing.

I shut the car off and sat, in silence, looking at the beauty that surrounded me. Then tears started running down my cheeks. I didn't try to stop them, but I couldn't understand why, when such beauty was around me, I would be so sad.

It's been a year now since our world fell apart. I have read that this pandemic has impacted more than just our physical health. It has taxed our mental health as well. Fear is at an extremely high level. 

Fear of illness, of loss, of financial decline, and extreme change in our lifestyles. 

The nonstop media coverage, and prolonged uncertainty, has caused intense feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. Now more than ever, it’s essential for us to create awareness of our feelings and to learn to manage them. 

And yes, they tell us, it’s OK to feel frustration or fear. It’s OK to feel rage, grief, terror, and sorrow. Feeling them is not the problem. It’s what you do, with what you feel, that puts the pandemonium back in the pandemic. 

What choices are we making? These days, our choices are limited and might come down to making a snowman versus throwing a frying pan through a window. It's easier said than done.

So I sat there with my tears flowing and cried, I did not try to stop because I realized I wasn't crying for me. It was the worry for my children and grandchildren. What kind of world are they heading into?

My frustration came from the realization that there is nothing I can do about it. My son said, "They'll adapt.” So, keeping myself safe is all I can do. Stay safe so we can all be together again.

The words of "A Winter Solstice Blessing" is fitting for us; May you find peace in the promise of the solstice night, That each day forward is blessed with more light. That the cycle of nature, unbroken and true, Brings faith to your soul and well-being to you. Rejoice in the darkness, in the silence find rest, And may the days that follow be abundantly blessed.

Take care and stay safe.

Kevin Shanahan, Hanmer