Climate Grief and Healing Together
Updated: Sep 28, 2020
Written by: Maya Kattler-Gold
When I was younger, nothing scared me more than climate change. I dealt with this fear by avoiding it at all costs. Whenever I would hear and see anything about it, I would shut off and turn away. Nothing good could come from learning more.
When I was 18, the summer before I started college, it all hit me. It felt like I couldn't avoid it anymore. I became depressed and anxious and completely overwhelmed.
I felt so hopeless. But I was able to pull myself out of this place by looking for little things I could do to help. I looked up how to minimize my waste, and I started donating $5 a month to the NRDC and 350.org. When I started school in the fall, I rearranged my entire schedule so that I could take the intro Environmental Studies class, and at the club fair I went straight to the environmental clubs.
I eventually found Brandeis Climate Justice and fossil fuel divestment organizing. This was the first time I felt truly powerful against climate change and in a community with others who felt the same pain, fear and passion I did. I still feel hopeless and scared sometimes, but talking through feelings about climate change is so important. In addition, coming together with other people to work towards solutions can bring so much hope. None of us are alone.
Although it can be incredibly draining too, I think one of the best things about doing activism is the healing and empowerment it can bring to the people doing it. If you are feeling hopeless about the climate crisis, I encourage getting involved with a local climate activist group where you can find people to talk to about these feelings and find strength in working together.