“In the midst of facing our losses, we need to also hold on to hope. We know that this current situation is not forever. We will return to a 'new normal' that will allow us to go back to community and being together.”

As we continue to journey through this global pandemic, I believe it is important for us to acknowledge two somewhat opposing factors happening within us – grief and hope.

No matter who you are in this world, this pandemic is creating loss for you. For some it is the ultimate loss as they have loved ones who have succumbed to the virus. For others it is the loss of income, their business, their job. For others it’s the loss of community, freedoms, and relationships. For some it is simply the loss of “normal” and the loss of routine and stability. 

I think it is important for us to allow ourselves and our children to grieve. No matter what the level of loss we are facing, it is loss and an important way to deal with that loss is to embrace the grief. As we know, grief is a process with stages; for some it may take time to walk through the grief, while for others the journey may be shorter. But for all of us, it is important to allow the grief to work its natural course and allow it to happen. We need to let ourselves feel sad, disappointed, even discouraged as we process the grief.

In the midst of facing our losses, we need to also hold on to hope. We know that this current situation is not forever. We will return to a “new normal” that will allow us to go back to community and being together. For now the hope is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, but it is there and it is slowly getting closer and brighter.

It might seem impossible to have both grief and hope at the same time, but it is possible and ultimately it is best when they are experienced together. I am dramatically reminded of this today because of an event earlier in the week. Thizbe Balzer, a graduate of Dalat (Class of 2016), passed away suddenly from heart failure while out running. There are the many questions that we wrestle with when something like this happens and along with that there is also pain, heartache, sadness, and hurt. We are grieving our loss. We are grieving for her family. However, as we grieve, we also have hope. For those of us who are Christ followers, we have hope and assurance that we will see her again. This is not goodbye forever. Someday soon we will be reunited with her again. In the midst of the heartache and grief, there is hope and celebration of her faith-filled life.

As we face the pain of loss, being created all over this world by the virus, let’s allow ourselves and our children to face the grief, to journey through it. Yet in the midst of it, let’s remind ourselves each day of hope. This is not forever. Someday soon this will be over.

Please stay safe and hold on to hope.

Written by Karl Steinkamp

Karl Steinkamp is passionate about Dalat International School and training up young people. Karl was a student at Dalat and returned with a degree in education as a student teacher, high school principal, and now Head of School since 2006.
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