Physical distancing instead of social distancing

by Charlotte Moyler

 I started my time of quarantine before the actual outbreak occurred. I had a need to get away for a time of reflection and healing. So, in many ways, I was pre-prepared for a time such as this. Now, after two months, I have learned so much more about myself, family, friends and life. 

I am bothered by the excessive use of the term “Social Distancing”. I feel people are becoming more connected during this time of COVID-9. I prefer to call it “Physical Distancing”. 

This morning, at sunbreak, I sat outside with my tea and the harmony of many birds. With my laptop, I played Rummikub online with my niece. She is living in Ireland working on her PhD in Population Health (of all things, at this time!). Normally we probably would not have taken the time to socialize at the start our busy days (even though she was in the middle of a busy afternoon). 

Yesterday my son and I drove through the mountains of Scottsville. No hurry, no rush and nothing to get back to. Just the two of us socializing, surrounded by God’s beauty (with hand sanitizer, space, etc.). 

My son’s fiancée and I have grown closer as she loves to come by and study. I make iced tea and old fashioned popcorn. This socializing has tended to my unused mothering needs. 

Last night 13 of the Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group met and socialized on Zoom. A new couple joined in, as they had just lost their son two weeks ago. At a time such as this, they are totally lost and cannot even find comfort in family and friends (or even plan a ceremony). Their faces first appeared on the screen so full of sorrow and fear. As the end of our session drew near, their expressions were full of hope. This was a community of socializing survivors. 

My nephew calls me every day, just to check in. This is amazing because he is working exceptionally long hours at the Treasury Department to bring economic health to our country. We socialize, share concerns and laugh. 

My sisters and I (in different states) are reading two books of devotion and inspiration. We are feeling spiritually empty. This socialization is making our deep bond to one another even stronger. It is also renewing our faiths. I do not think we would be doing this if our lives were as full and busy as they once were. 

I started journaling in early February, never dreaming of what lie ahead. As I look back, I see the many friends and family members who have reached out to check in on me. They send love, jokes, articles, photos, etc. So many beautiful friends I have been socializing with and I have not seen them in over two months. 

Grief and isolation go hand in hand. We are not alone even if we are physically alone. 

This little piece is dedicated to Jarrett, who has provided me a sanctuary of peace. 

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my youngest son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Professional Speaker Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

3 thoughts on “Physical distancing instead of social distancing”

  1. Charlotte – what a nice read with lovely thoughts. I have been outside a lot as well, although doing what I would normally be doing this time of year. You are so lucky to be surrounded by so many lovely young people.

  2. Agree. Think we all more concerned about each other than we ever were before. Before all this we were to busy to call or text-now all we got is time. Great read. Thanks for sharing.

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