• Annie Byrne

Emotional waves during COVID

Emotional Waves // A poem written in and amongst the waves of emotion which seem to be flowing through this collective experience.


It comes in waves.

waves of varying pace, size

and bodily consumption


The waves hit hard

and they caress softly,

as if barely touching my skin


They flow and move;

they join hands and dance,

surrounding me with in their sweat


And when the heat

becomes too much to bare,

there is stillness


but only for a minute,

only one minute

and then they are stirring again


trickling into every corner of me


I am full of them,

and then

I am empty,

as if even my breath

has escaped me.


Have you also been feeling like emotions come in waves and can be fluid and change throughout the day, without prior warning?


I was overcome with grief while standing in a line at the local grocery store the other day and I just couldn't stop crying but it simultaneously felt so good to let it out. I've also had huge moments of overwhelming gratitude in the past few days. There just seems to be so many polarities of feeling right now. Partly as an individual, and partly as experiencing the emotional landscape of the collective.


Ester Perel describes our current experience of reality as symptoms of 'anticipatory grief'; which I think is a very helpful way of understanding this experience. We are going through the five stages of grief while the trauma is occurring before our eyes. We are anticipating the loss we will have to come and mourning the loss we have already encountered, and not only on a personal level but on a community level and a much larger macro level.


Be gentle with yourself and listen in to what your needs are. Focus on soothing your nervous system and doing what you can to take care of yourself and others

Registered Counsellor
PRC 0029408

Practice number 0784478

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