That phrase gets overused a lot, but it really applies right now.

This is such a strange time.

Some of us are facing terrible difficulties, others are sad about relatively minor inconveniences and none of us are wrong.

It’s okay to be upset that you had to cancel your birthday celebration, just as it’s okay to be terrified of giving birth during a deadly pandemic.

I say that as someone who is the latter.

I don’t mind hearing people worry about their mental state while being stuck in their homes. That’s a real issue and perspective matters.

I can’t fully understand a tragedy someone else has been through if I haven’t faced it myself. I don’t see this situation as any different.

My heart aches for the people who have lost their entire sources of income. I’ve only lost a few weeks of mine, so I can’t say I know how that feels, but I can feel empathy. I can wish none of you were facing what you’re facing.

I have a handful of friends who’ve lost loved ones in the weeks since this all began. Not one of them has been able to properly honor their loved ones life in the traditional sense. In fact, they’re navigating grief by themselves or away from most of the rest of their families and friends.

I haven’t lost anyone during this time, aside from our dog Sophie. And that was hell, but it was expected and I wasn’t deprived of the traditional grieving.

I held her and petted her and told her how much I loved her repeatedly as she went calmly to rest. And I’ve been able to talk about her and share that love for her with people right around me, the people who also knew and loved her.  That’s how that grief would’ve looked even in a normal time.

But that’s not how it usually looks for human loss.

I can’t imagine how it feels to not have those first few days when you’d normally gather with family and share stories and memories – laugh and cry. When I’ve lost loved ones in the past, those moments have been what pulled me through the initial onslaught of sadness.

Everywhere you look, people’s hearts are heavy.

They’re lonely.

They’re scared or anxious.

They’re wondering if they’re doing enough to protect themselves and the people they love.

They’re wondering how they can help their favorite small business that might not make it through the economic disaster that’s accompanying all of this.

They’re feeling things and they should be allowed to – whatever that looks like.

Sure, there’s a lot of good. And I suspect most of us spend a great deal of time watching for it – seeing who is helping and how we can make the best of the situation.

But we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves or others when we’re struck by the tougher feelings.

It’s okay.

It really is okay.

And hopefully one day not too long from now, everything will be okay.

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