I found joy in simplicity and space to grieve.

Some things became more complicated with the pandemic (pre-vaccine), like how to avoid dying when going to the grocery store for toilet paper. And the supply chain shortage of toilet paper was inconvenient. The worst was not being able to see family and learning of loved ones and strangers’ live being upended or ended by the coronavirus. But in some ways for me it was also the best of times. At least in comparison to the previous 2 years. It’s exhausting to commute to work in an urban area, but it’s even more exhausting to have to smile at work when inside I am screaming and crying over the loss of my daughter in 2018. Once quarantined, I was able to better process my new reality and catch up on lost sleep since I no longer had to get up at o’dark thirty to catch a train to a metro stop, then another and another. I had time to journal my feelings or take a relaxing bath—or simply sigh. In other words, I had moments to nurture my heart and soul and body. Another (surprising!) find had to do with the value of simplicity—not getting to go to Baltimore’s festivals felt like more than just a bummer to me. And I missed art museums. However, I quickly adjusted to monotony. The most exciting thing of the week was deciding with my husband whether to order Thai or Greek food for delivery. Strangely enough, the missing out on the monthly Baltimore Bike Party, square dancing, dragonboat racing and other stuff was OKAY. Part of this was because I was grieving so intensely and I finally wasn’t too afraid to face my grief, but part of it had to do with enjoying living un-hassled by meaningless decisions and logistics. Without ads and announcements, I gained insight into what I really enjoyed most on an almost daily basis: books, music, authentic conversations, walks with a neighbor, and our cats! This newfound time and clarity made way for our puppy. Shanti’s exuberant wags and shameless affection seeking brings a smile to others’ faces. Sometimes more than not, that is enough.


Location: Baltimore

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