When I was writing book "How Can I Help?" I interviewed people who not only experienced grief and loss, but who also credit their healing to the help of family and friends. I asked them, "what did those people do", that best helped them during their most difficult chapter in life?
What I found interesting as I was gathering all my notes together, is that there were two responses I kept seeing over and over again, that nearly all had said was key to their healing.
And now that we are in the middle of a global pandemic never experienced before by any living human, I believe these two things can be key to helping each other through the darkness of fear into the light of hope.
So what are those two things that just about every single person said helped them get through the most difficult times of their lives?
Prayer", and "Being There".
Prayer is one of those things you can do from anywhere for anybody. And those prayers can be moments spent talking to God, having conversations with the universe, holding sacred space for someone in your heart and mind, sending out love or light or both.
It doesn't matter what you call it or even what you believe. Taking time to single out a person or people or nation or situation and choosing to do any of the above is sending out positive energy in the universe. Even if you don't believe this from a spiritual level, sending out this kind of positive energy has been scientifically proven to raise vibration and when we raise vibration, healing begins.
So for whom should we pray?
Maybe start with those you love most, by praying for safety and protection.
-Pray for those who are sick (right now and soon to be) who will be restricted from having visitors and who may die alone.
-Pray for their families as they try to contain their fear and sorrow.
-Pray for all those who have to leave the safety of their homes and family and put themselves in danger by those caring for all those who are sick.
-Pray for the people working tirelessly to keep hospitals, offices, and businesses, clean and germ free.
-Pray for those working in retail, for those stocking grocery store shelves, for truck drivers delivering items essential to keep us healthy, fed and alive.
-Pray for our leaders in government on the local, state, and federal level that they make the best decisions for the protection of the greater good.
-Pray for the scientific community that they can come up with better treatments and solutions and vaccines.
-Pray for all those facing loss of employment.
-Pray for all those who are making the sacrifice to band together to slow the spread of this virus, as well as those who seem to have no regard for others at all.
Pray for more helping than hoarding.
Pray for more joy than sorrow.
Pray for more strength and hope!
Every single person with the exception of two, whom I interviewed for my book said prayers were important, and provided them with the strength and love they needed to survive another day.
"Being there" was the number one, unanimous action grieving people said helped them get through their most difficult chapters in life.
So you are probably thinking: How can I be there, when we are being asked to stay away?
Yes, we are being asked to practice "social distancing", which means staying away from other people when we are outside the protection of our homes.
That may make things challenging.
But not impossible.
Being there for one another right now is not only possible, it is NECESSARY!
Thanks to technology, and a little bit of outside the box thinking, there are many ways we can stay connected to show up and be there for one another.
I encourage you and your family to take some time together to think about ways you can show up for others and offer help and support.
In the meantime, here are just a few examples to get you started:
-Check on friends, family or elderly neighbors by picking up the phone and calling them.
You don't have to spend a lot of time in conversation, but hearing a human voice that cares on the other end of the line provides a sense of connection not possible through texting and email.
-Utilize FaceTime or apps like Skype, Zoom or Facebook Messenger to hold a face to face conversation. This could be a great way to connect with those in nursing homes or hospitals as they can see you, and you can see them and just that visual contact can ease fears and make everyone instantly feel better and way less lonely.
-Support small business owners in your community by purchasing gift cards for services you will soon be needing, such as oil changes, haircuts, pedicures, and dog grooming. You can also support all your friends in small businesses by going to their Facebook Page, Google Business Account or Yelp and leaving them a positive review.
-You can support restaurant owners by ordering curbside take out once or twice a week or sending breakfast. lunch or dinner to those working overtime in the medical field, safety forces, or grocery workers as a way to say thank you.
-Consider running errands or picking up groceries or medicine for an elderly neighbor, relative or a friend who cannot leave the house because of small children.
So you see, there ARE ways we can be there for one another, and I'm betting you can think of so many more.
Remember, we all are in this together, and it makes it so much easier to bear any hardship when we know we are loved and supported.
Right now you have the opportunity to do things to make the world a better place by making someone else's world a little brighter.
Sherrie Dunlevy is an author, speaker, Inspirationista and host of the Grief Anonymous Podcast. For more information, to order her best selling book “How Can I Help?" or to hire Sherrie to speak at your conference, workshop or special event go to www.SherrieDunlevy.com or contact her at SherrieDunlevy@gmail.com