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  • Marie Trout

Incubation Blues — Day 7 of the Shutdown

It is like a scream in my throat that I cannot let out. WHEN WILL THIS END?

Each day, I see it getting worse and worse. More people are dying.

It is clear that it is not going to end any time soon.This morning, I realized that this whole COVID-19 experience feels similar to what I went through during the wait for Walter’s liver transplant. Each day, I watched him getting worse and worse. Each day, the medical establishment were unable to provide answers or timelines.

But this time, it is a societal version shared by everyone. We are stuck in not-knowing together.

My scream remains unscreamed, because there is no relief in screaming it.

Living with uncertainty is difficult for us humans.

When waiting for the liver to become available, I told Walter that instead of worrying about when it would happen, we’d just start to refer to it as if it were to come tomorrow.

Like we’d be released soon.

Soon that approach left us fatigued and empty.

Then we surrendered. We started appreciating the moments we still had together without thinking about tomorrow.

That gave us a fleeting sense of peace.

We existed outside of the timelines that couldn’t be provided for us anyway. We were floating on “what is right here and now.”

It still sucked. Walter was deathly ill petering on the precipice. Each day offered new challenges and near-death risks. Each day required careful management of my mental and emotional resources.

But I felt a shift when I started just appreciating the moments we had together, no matter what they were. Tomorrow became today — and today became enough.


I appreciated having a safe place to stay, enough food to eat, and that my kids were in safe places. I realized how lucky I was compared to people with children in refugee camps facing uncertainty, or people in disaster or violence stricken areas without access to clean water and food.

Appreciation of what I had provided perspective and resolve.

“Enough” became a place to rest my worries.

The scream is still unscreamed. But I write to allow it to filter through me in bitesized chuncks. I write to share, because we are many with unscreamed screams in our throats.

Let us hold virtual hands for a moment knowing that “enough” matters. And that appreciation of “enough” is an inner lifesaver.

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