Another milestone: 500,000. Not just a number, but people -- family members, friends, neighbors, work colleagues -- no longer blessing us with their presence, stories, jokes, and support. Watching CNN's memorial service, "We Remember 500,000," I was thinking of the Dialogues Lost: we are no longer able to ask questions or listen to another person's experience of life. Gone... but the memories.
Whether in May 2020 (100,00) or September (200,000), November (300,000), January 2021 (400,00) or February (500,000), the fabric of our society is being torn asunder. Pieces of who we are as a nation are being removed from our midst... silently and in isolation.
|How do we remember and grieve?|
(Photo credit: President Biden Delivers Emotional
Remembrance of 500,000 COVID Victims, Getty Images, NPR)
Through prayers, individual stories, and music, we were allowed to remember -- and grieve. Rather than encouraging action and moving on, we were being asked to slow down, listen, and try to understand the significance of what this past year has wrought on us... as individuals, local communities, a nation, and the world.
One person said that our minds go numb with what is happening: the numbers are too huge to grasp; the grief is too deep. But remember, we must.
|In what ways do we memorialize|
(Liberty Station, San Diego
|What corridors of our memories|
are we willing to explore?
(Liberty Station, San Diego)
COVID has reminded me of the Sacredness of Life -- all life: the unborn and the living; those whom I agree with or disagree; people in my inner circle or those beyond that boundary.
In the midst of a number -- 500,000 -- it seems that we continue to look for blame: what should have been done earlier; who is masking or not; who are being vaccinated or not; what political party has the answers or not...
I wonder, wouldn't it be easier if we:
- Slowed down;
- Reflected on the losses; and
- Listened for understanding?
As we move through our numbness and grief, may we seek peace in these losses... and hope in what we have gained.
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