The day after the election, Wednesday November 9, 2016, was not just another day after. This day, we woke up to Donald J Trump as President Elect and soon to be 45th President of the United States of America. For more than half of Americans who actually voted, a lot of us are mourning, including myself. We are mourning as we face the unthinkable and what most thought was impossible. Reality television has merged with Reality.
We are now faced with emotionally charged times and an uncertain future. The stress that we are experiencing adds to an already stressful world. And, now we must grieve.
The grief that we are experiencing as a collective is real, clinical grief. And, we need to stop for a moment and realize that. We are experiencing a natural response to a monumental loss.
Through COMM-UNITY, people have shared their sadness and anger with me. These are just a few.
“This is a similar feeling that I had at 911. I feel scared and unsafe”
“It feels like the day after a bad breakup. I’m heartbroken”
“I feel deflated and like I’m walking around in a big cloud of haze”
“I’m so angry I might start crying. Livid. Gutted. So depressed and disgusted.”
“I’m disgusted in this weird ass world we live in”
“Racist motherf***ers. I’m disgusted that America could vote this way”
“I’m unfriending everyone who voted for him. We have nothing to share anymore”
Based on the five-stage model of grief created by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, grief is said to follow these five stages in no particular order: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. All of us will move through these stages, and waffle back and forth, differently as we grapple with our intense emotions.
We must grieve because we have lost what we envision our potential to be as a country as well as the values of inclusiveness, respect, diversity and tolerance that we hold. We now feel scared and see how divided we are in very deep ways.
We are faced with many promises made by Trump that leaves us liberals stunned that in today’s time any of his policies could be made law. If we take Trump on his word for what he has pledged, we are in for more shock. He stands for all that we oppose. He promises to repeal and replace Obamacare, he embraces the Republican party’s wish to reverse Roe v Wade, plans to defund Planned Parenthood, believes that climate change is a hoax, will cut all federal climate spending, undo environmental protections erected under the Obama administration, will reboot the industry on coal and fracking, roll back gun restrictions to make gun carrying legal in more places, proposes a law mandating the death penalty for anyone convicted of killing a police officer, he rides a wave of xenophobia by pledging to overhaul America’s immigration system, promises to ramp up deportations, deport undocumented immigrants en masse, send back Syrian refugees to their war-torn country, call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the Untied States,” has vowed to “bomb the s**t out of ISIS,” will build an “impenetrable physical wall” across the southern boarder, will increase the Guantanamo population, bring back worse than waterboarding, embraces profiling as a “commonsense” approach to predicting terrorist threats, endorses surveillance in mosques, will tear up and renegotiate trade treaties, questions the US’s commitment to the NATO alliance, suggests indiscriminate bombing on the Islamic State, and the list goes on.
These promises make our grieving process even more difficult. We are not going on a path that we projected that we would be on.
We are sad. We are mad.
So, where do we go from here? How do we find glad in bad?
We have an opportunity here to unite with one another and find meaning from the loss, together. The traumatic loss of the assumptive world is a paradigm for the psychology of change. We are experiencing a type of trauma that is at in that the psychological core of all change experience.
What We Can Do:
- Don’t rush or skip the grieving process. This could draw it out even longer and end up hurting us in the long run.
- Honor each other and give the time that each person needs.
- Accept our defeat and apply our energy to the places where it will do the most good. We can hope that Donald Trump will bring the country together. Because if he succeeds, the country succeeds, and we all succeed.
- Build a Community of likeminded people and talk it out. We get to keep fighting for what we believe in. Be there to support one another through this grieving process and encourage the change that we want to create as a collective.
- Stand up for what you believe in. We need to listen to each other and argue with each other when we disagree. We should try to convince each other when we strongly believe in something and oppose the things we can’t support.
- Oppose Hate. We will not tolerate any racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies pursued by a President Trump and his supporters.
- Follow These Mantras. Michelle Obama, “When they go low. We go high” and Hilary Clinton, “It takes a Village.”
I would like to invite you to join our COMM-UNITY to help you process your grief and move forward. We have a free Private, Closed Facebook Group, which is safe, monitored and does not allow for hate. It is not a therapy group, but might feel therapeutic. It invites those who are in the process of grieving the results of this election and those who are inspired by positive change. “Trumping Trump. Grieving and Overcoming the 2016 Election. A Process Group.”
We need to find courage, take action, and make change. We can’t, and we won’t, loose what we have worked so hard for as a COMM-UNITY. Please remember the words of Martin Luther King, “We must except finite disappointment but we must never lose infinite hope.”
For more information on our COMM-UNITY, and more groups, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org