Republished Blog from 2017, To Our Southern Neighbors: Our Prayers Are With You
“I know you feel broken, so I won’t tell you to have a wonderful day. Instead I. whisper these words to you ‘Just Hold On’. As the darkest days of grief start to. get less, the sun will rise again for you.”
– Zoe Clark-Coates
A couple of weeks ago, the annual ritual of greeting a family of robins that return to build their nest and use our lawn as their feeding ground for worms and such. Without fail, these beautiful birds show up as our temporary neighbors until the first frost of Fall. I will throw out bread occasionally which probably contributes to them determining this is a safe house to raise their babies.
Last year, we experienced a terrible spring wind storm resulting in several of our backyard trees’ limbs crashing to the ground. One of the limbs on the ground was home to the robins’ nest and the day, during clean-up, we discovered the nest its inhabitants of three small eggs. It took us all morning to figure out, first what to do, then trying to secure the nest high enough in a neighboring tree, away from predators, yet accessible for the parents to find. We watched that nest for days wondering if the parents were successful in locating the eggs. After a few weeks, we couldn’t find the nest nor the eggs, so we convinced ourselves that the parents did locate it and were able to rebuild a nest elsewhere to transfer their precious cargo.
The reason for the tale was to share my complete awe in how nature, no matter when disruptions are introduced or how cruel life can manifest itself, has a way of trusting its’ course and able to re-balance.
For humans, these last couple of weeks have been physically and emotionally grueling, especially as the Novel Coronavirus pandemic has grown exponentially in the The United States.
Our intention is to keep sorrowful blogs to a bare minimal, unfortunately, the virus has upended life as we know it and has now devastated our family.
My heart is heavy today with both grief and anger. A family member passed from the COVID-19 due to a weakened immune system which eventually shut her organs down. I am dedicated this blog to her husband, Hugh, of over 36 years and to all who have lost a loved one due to this awful catastrophe.
I thank God for the Michigan’s Governor who has been tenacious and pragmatic in her decision-making to get ahead of this pandemic, because we’re starting to see our numbers rise rapidly. I pray that wisdom and compassion and duty to our citizens lead our Federal government to make sound decisions and laws to get control of the situation with speed and minimizing loss of life.
These past few weeks, remind us how we, as human beings, pulled together, in the midst of confusion and grief, still find a way to connect and support each other; even as we are becoming more isolated as state and country borders are closing to prevent the spread. We pray that our world leaders make the right decisions in protecting society as a whole.
As difficult as this time is, I will remain hopeful that all of earth’s inhabitants will continue to fight for survival collectively by doing their individual part of taking care of self, neighbor and community as we await the necessary tools and answers to overcome this dreadful pandemic.
At this crucial time, finding methods to stay individually focus on mental and physical health is imperative:
1. Reduce or eliminate the amount of daily news that comes into your home. What we do in our household is to watch our local and national news channels once in the evening and get periodic updates from sites such as our state’s government site, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH), to name a few. I subscribe to a couple of reputable historian blogs that give a wrap up of the previous day’s news with facts and figures. I do have a couple of blogs that I read to catch up on political news but have to limit reading with “the world is ending” comments instead I choose to focus on some “good news” sites to keep a balance.
2. Being alone versus loneliness – My introverted tendencies allow me to flourish and be creative when I am alone, yet for many being asked or mandated to stay home and practice social distancing seems utter madness. Technology absolutely comes to the rescue for everyone who has access to stay in touch, but like my Mother, who has not on iota of desire to join the electronic age brigade, commit yourself to do a check-in phone call every day to loved ones (yes even the disagreeable uncle).
3. Focus on small daily goals to fight boredom and worry. A blogger associate suggested when you write your daily goals to change the language (or your mindset) from “Things I have to do or have to do” to “Today I get to …” and has an hour by hour list her day’s activities. Here’s a sample of mine:
a. Weigh myself at 7:30 am after wake up routine
b. Workout for 45 minutes
c. Cook a delicious, nutritional breakfast, then clean up my kitchen
d. Write and research for future blogs
e. Take a break and check in on news sites, answer emails
f. Spend at least an hour on my photographer course
g. Eat a nutritious lunch and call my family and friends
h. Walk around my neighbor block for 30 minutes (part one)
And so on…
4. Self Care is Crucial – Deep cleaning of your home (CDC has good information on cleaning and disinfecting), getting good sleep, eating right, and keeping your mind engaged with positive and productive things to maintain balance. What a perfect time to learn and practice meditation or yoga or create a mastermind group using one of the online face-to-face/chat platforms
5. Engage in Meaningful Action – control what you can control. I read a beautiful quote from an article on handling stress during these trying times, “The antidote to despair and anxiety is action”. Take one step at a time, and be kind to others, especially on the front line, who show up every day to feed us and keep us safe through this chaotic period (i.e., delivery workers, grocery workers, restaurant workers, medical works, emergency personnel, etc.)
As the entire world holds its collective breath as we all experience and watch despair through our information sources, even during this uncertain period in our lives, the examples shown through traditional media and social media proves our connectivity as humans and how we ultimately have to share this one small planet with each other regardless of our differences.
Catastrophes also remind us of individuals’ selflessness as we witnessed heroes and sheros from all walks of life pull together. The entire country has opened its hearts and wallets throughout this midst of confusion and grief to provide support by way of money, supplies, and volunteers.
This will be a massive ongoing effort of years to help all of us regain some sense of normalcy. To our generous readers, if you want to help:
1. Donate to non-profits which range from those responding to medical and public health needs to vulnerable populations facing economic uncertainty
2. Volunteer for organizations that provide critical services to your community (food pantries distribution). If you are in a state or country that has declared a “shelter in place” order, volunteer your skills in grant-writing, helping with online tasks or serving as a crisis counselor on a hotline service.
3. Become an advocate and use your voice to help non-profits get the support they will need in the coming weeks and months
Listed below are a few national and local reputable organizations. Obviously, financial donations are the preferred way of assisting, yet we have also listed a few non-profit and donation centers that accept supplies as well.
– American Red Cross– monetary, blood donations, and volunteers
–First Book.org – supply books to kids in need who don’t have internet access or home libraries
– Meals on Wheels – delivering nutritious meals to vulnerable seniors
– Direct Relief – delivering protective gear to safeguard health workers and supplying medical items for critical patient care
For a full list of non-profits link to the Washington Post’s article How you Can Help During the Coronavirus Outbreak
Please do your research before giving money to any new organization or Gofundme accounts that have been created recently. Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator.org), a watchdog site, provides information on numerous non-profits to guide your giving decisions.
We are heartbroken that our local, national and global neighbors are living through this tragic, life-altering event as the uncertainty of the future surrounds families and communities. I am hopeful that we will be a stronger, more grateful world community when this passes.
The Beau Satchelle team sends our love and prayers to all those impacted and hope that this blog provides some comfort, knowledge, and inspiration. -AJ
Share your thoughts in the comment section below or on Twitter!
Note: With so much confusion and misinformation about the COVID-19 or novel Coronovirus, I searched extensively for solid information about the symptoms and levels severity and treatment that comes from the most current scientific sources which most of our readers may or may not have seen. One such video that does a smart explanation was presented on Tech Insider’s twitter feed edited by Manny Ocbazghi and he sources the CDC, World Health Organization – China Joint Mission on Covid-19, Harvard Medical School, among other esteem organizations. Be forewarned this video is pretty sobering and speaks frankly about possible death among our population.
Besides the above links, thank you to the following sources that offered informative content
Fidelity Charitable – Three ways you can help during the Covid-19 pandemic
Hat Tip to the video authors and photographers whose work was selected for this blog.
Federico Maderno – Robin Video
Bessi – Sunset
Giustiliano Calgaro – Coral in the Maldives
Cocoparisienne – Sea anemone, coral reef, meeresbewohner
Skeeze – Milky Way
Arthurpalac – Brothers holding hands, Detroit skyline