Celebrating during the current pandemic certainly looked much different than a few short months ago. No longer are we gathering together, family reunion style, for special occasions, or even Sunday dinner for that matter. Social distancing is the order of the season. Yet, life goes on and major life events are still happening: engagements, graduations, births, promotions, etc.
Is it wrong to celebrate in the midst of a pandemic? Some may say it is, and possibly consider it insensitive. I, however, am not of that same mindset. In all things and at all times, I believe balance is critical. The seriousness of COVID-19 it not lost on me. It has had catastrophic ramifications. I know people personally who have lost loved ones to this virus. My heart aches for the grief they are experiencing. What I have seen, even from them, is that some semblance of normalcy helps. Acknowledging important life events is a way to keep the balance and bring a much needed dose of normalcy.
While celebrations are taking place, we have been challenged to come up with alternate, creative means to do so. The limitations placed on the size of gatherings and the mandate on how far we are to keep from one another has made it impossible to celebrate status-quo. Every day on social media a video pops up in our newsfeed of one unique celebratory idea after another.
There have been drive-by baby showers, birthday parties by video conferencing, graduation services held virtually, and wedding ceremonies streamed live. The determination to show (and share) love and honor despite the world-wide crisis is inspiring. Each of these new-breed celebrations keeps people connected emotionally when they can’t be physically.
Not everyone has been able to benefit from an alternate form of celebration, however. Many people have had to postpone or cancel celebrations of significant life events. You only have your first child once. Baby showers are a rite of passage for new mothers. Not being able to gather family and friends from near and far to share in their joy has left a multitude of new, expectant mothers feeling sad, and even cheated the past few months.
With the passing of loved ones, some families have elected to postpone funeral services until after the pandemic. They are choosing to honor their family member with a traditional celebration of life, even if it means waiting for an unknown amount of time. Other families have made the difficult choice to lay loved ones to rest without a service. Streaming of funeral services live on the internet has been an option exercised by others.
The short term sacrifices being made with social distancing, and other safeguards, are for our long term gain of good health and life. We will, in due time, be afforded the luxury of gathering together again to share hugs and laughs; birthday cakes; bridal shower games; baby shower fun; anniversary toasts, and more. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to continue finding creative ways to celebrate. Think outside of the box and come up with wonderful memory making ideas. But most of all remain safe and well!