ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Across North Texas, the nation and the world, the comfort of tradition, the joy of celebrations are all sidelined by an invisible enemy.
“Prom and graduation, the rest of our season,” said Seth Rains, while listing a few of the things that he misses most.
The Summit High School senior and avid baseball player says he connects with friends online, but it’s just not the same.
He speaks for many who make up the Class of 2020.
“Staying up at night thinking about everything I’m missing out on before going to college. It’s being all ruined because of this virus,” he said.
His mom, Cyndi, said she’s doing well, but when pressed, she said, “I’m not gonna lie, it’s been hard. I’ve cried many times for my kid and the rest of the senior class.
She also admits to feeling guilty about that grief.
“Absolutely! I’m thinking, there are people dying and I’m over here worrying about my kid and felt selfish about that.”
So to Cyndi and all the parents managing that particular grief, mental health experts say, “give yourselves a break.”
“There is no need to feel guilty,” says Roshini Kumar, a Licensed Professional Counselor and Clinical Therapist with Children’s Health. “We are all dealing with it, together. We are all sad, we are all angry…we are all in denial.”
Along with giving families permission to feel what they feel, Kumar is also encouraging them to find new ways to celebrate.
“So figure out creative ways you can still celebrate your teen, your senior or middle schooler’s success, even if the school is not able to have those fun events.”
And finally, experts encourage all of us to make time for self care and to share the comfort.
“Let them know that they’re being thought about and how they’re missing so much,” says Cyndi, her eyes filling with tears. She adds that along with her husband and family, her faith is also helping her look past this pandemic. “I have that hope… this is just a season, it’s not going to last.”