This past Friday, I “attended” a funeral. My dear friend’s mom passed away from COVID a couple of weeks ago. From many miles away, my friend coordinated the funeral her mother would have wanted, with a full Catholic Mass. Observing safe social distancing practices, a very small number of people were in the church – many more (including me and my wife) watched the proceedings via Livestream on YouTube (and then the interment service shortly after at the cemetery).

My wife and I felt like we attended a funeral. Yes, it was unlike every funeral we have ever been to – yet, it was not that different.

I’m super proud of our friend for pulling this off.

I’m proud of so many people for adapting to the challenging world we have been living in.

And I’m grateful for the way we have all made adjustments to stay positive and connected.

Here are some more experiences I am grateful about:

  • The two Zoom Passover Seders we participated in.
  • The driveway condolence call we were able to pay to our neighbor whose mom passed away. The grieving family spent two hours sitting together on their driveway, as friends drove by for social-distance visits.
  • The contactless shopping I have been able to do for fresh fruit and vegetables at a local grocery store. The orders are submitted online and I receive an email when my order is ready. I drive there, call to say I am outside, and they place the bag in the trunk of my car.
  • The many Zoom and FaceTime get-togethers I have had with family and friends. It’s certainly easier to make plans with people when there is more free time than usual, and when we don’t have to drive to meet up.
  • The Zoom meditation sessions I have participated in. I have done a few so far, plan to do more, and hope to continue doing it after things get better.
  • The way supermarkets open earlier for people with certain health issues and all people over age 60. That means I can’t go first thing in the morning and I know I would appreciate that accommodation if I were in one of those cohorts.

One thing most of the above have in common is the internet. I am grateful we live in the internet era.

In addition, I am: fortunate to be part of a company that can do a lot of our work remotely, happy my wife and I have been getting along so well during all this time sheltering in place together, and extremely thankful my family has been healthy.

And, of course, I have tremendous gratitude for the grocery workers, delivery people, medical professionals, first responders, and every other hero who has helped during this time.

Gratitude is one of the most powerful happiness habits. If you aren’t regularly making a list of what you are grateful about, I strongly recommend it. Put it on your calendar daily – or at least weekly. I am certain you will benefit from a gratitude practice.

Stay well!