It goes without saying that right now is tough on everyone.

Life is suddenly different now that COVID-19 has reached Western New York. All the things we're used to doing, and places we're used to going have been replaced by a new way of life. For now? Forever?

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

I dislike when people use the term "new normal." We heard it a lot after September 11 in relation to terror alerts, airport security screening procedures and the way we used to worry there might be anthrax in the office mail.

There's nothing normal about any of that, and there's certainly nothing normal about our lives right now.

In our hurry to reach this "new normal" we left out space to grieve.

You can't deny the loss. Loss of jobs, school, real interpersonal relationships, a sense of safety; Cancellations of long-planned weddings, vacations, reunions, concerts and other happy occasions are all things you're allowed to grieve.

I'm grieving for the people we are going to lose to this disease, for the doctors and nurses who are getting sick and dying, the loss of this slice of my kids' childhood innocence. I miss my fiance, I miss my parents. And like on 9/11, we're face-to-face with the reality that life can change in a day.

So if you feel sad, it's OK. If you aren't feeling up to neighborhood scavenger hunts or cutsey homeschool schedules, it's fine.

You're grieving. And we all do it in our own way.