By Ann Burack-WeissRemember the Kubler-Ross stages of grief? Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance? We first heard of them in 1969. Did you know that the original five stages were later added to by Kubler-Ross herself? (shock before denial, testing after depression).
Since Kubler-Ross felt free to add to her model, I’m pretty sure that if she had lived 'til Covid-19, she might have added one more - attachments.
My inbox runneth over - sender’s names preceded by paper clips.
Clicking on the links, I find music, dance, theatre videos, solos and groups. Rooms at home, empty sidewalks, parks, rooftops. School children, amateurs, professionals playing, singing, dancing and acting their hearts out.
Cartoons, singly or in long threads. My favorite: a Seder plate (Passover on April 8th). In place of ceremonial objects to remind us of past sufferings are those that in years to come will remind us of today - rolls of toilet paper on one section, masks on another, gloves on another
Poems, stories, essays and quotes by published authors. Or written by the senders themselves.
Yoga and meditation mantras.
Netflix or Prime Time or Hulu programs I must watch, books and articles I must read.
Pleas for social action from academic, health care, social service, political and religious organizations.
HD and online offerings from arts organization (museums, operas, concert calls, theatre companies, lecture sites).
I am a serial offender, BCC my favorite address line.
Attachments reflect my life. The senders are members of my tribe. I imagine that if I were a bridge or chess player, I’d be receiving games to play. Gamblers surely receive lineup of odds in every race and lottery, as those interested in team sports must trade statistics and review potential trades.
Email attachments are virtual life lines reminding us of who we were before and may one day be again. They pull us up as we are about to drown in the swirling waters of fear and grief. Gripping tightly to our ends, we feel the answering pull that says “Just hang on. I’m still here. I won’t let you go.”
Attachments. Definitely an Eighth Stage. Projecting us into a future when we step out of our caves and into the arms of those emerging from theirs.
Our hugs will be tight and long. Then we’ll walk off together. For coffee or lunch at our favorite place, the one where the tables are so close that you can overhear every conversation.
Or to a concert where we turn our heads to shush the whisperers behind us.
Maybe walking and talking as we stroll through the park or along the river, find that bench under a tree where we can hear the music from the jazz trio, watch the parade of babies, lovers, old people, everyone in between.
“What a time that was!” we will say.
[EDITORIAL NOTE: Reader's stories are welcome. If you have not published here or not recently, please read submission instructions. Only one story per email.]