The Third Something

066 / The Grief In Our Lungs

The world locks down, we are left with little choice but to sit alone with our pain. Some thoughts on grief.

A drawing of a set of lungs in black and white by Adam Westbrook

How are you doing? Sometimes during the week I think about you all, my small band of Third Something readers, scattered around the globe.

Many of you who have written to me have said you are healthy and surrounded by family, which I am glad to hear.

I must admit my quarantine is tough going. I am alone and even before the pandemic stole our normal lives away, 2020 had revealed itself as a year of grief and change (#057). I’m sure like many of you, I have people close to me who are vulnerable and others risking everything on the frontlines.

Circumstances now dictate that I don’t have any choice but to sit quietly with that pain.

I was moved by these words from Josh Radnor a few days ago:

In Chinese medicine it’s said that the lungs are where we store our grief. I can’t stop thinking about that given that life as we knew it has been ground to a halt by a virus which most notably attacks the respiratory system. For so long I’ve thought the world could use a good cry, that the brutality of life in the modern era was backlogging so much grief inside each of us. Maybe that’s why we never wanted to pause, the unspoken fear that once we stopped moving we’d have to confront the immensity of our sorrow.

It has caught up with us now.

I read somewhere that the only way to overcome grief is to grieve.


Until another Sunday soon,

Adam's signature