Archive for the ‘Mourning’ Category

Service of Mourning: Remember

Thursday, January 28th, 2021

President Biden led the mourners honoring the 400,000 who have died of Covid-19. On the eve of the inauguration he stood by the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C., silhouetted by 400 lights, and said: “To heal we must remember.” The next day the President prayed at the tomb of the unknown soldier in Arlington Cemetery. Again he led the nation in remembering.

Yesterday in a White House statement, he said: “Today, we join together with people from nations around the world to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day by remembering the 6 million Jews, as well as the Roma and Sinti, Slavs, disabled persons, LGBTQ+ individuals, and many others, who were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Shoah. ….”

“Death is natural,” my husband would say as he hugged me through my grief when parents, relatives and friends died. When he died I remembered his healing hugs.

Homer’s approach, while sensible and accurate, doesn’t mitigate the feelings of loss that loved ones experience. It must be worse when death doesn’t seem natural: Those left behind when the lives of Covid-19 patients have been cut short–whether children or the elderly. Without the virus thousands would have celebrated many other birthdays and holidays. Holocaust survivors and loved ones of victims of violence must feel the same.

It’s true that the departed live on in your heart and mind. Keepsakes help. I put my hands on my father’s and husband’s leather gloves that are on a table for easy access. The main character, Assane Diop, played by Omar Sy in the Netflix series “Lupin,” holds dear his dead father’s gloves as well.

When others remember one of my loved ones it’s momentous. It might make me teary but then so much does–it shouldn’t discourage them from sharing their memories. In what ways do you remember?  Or is it too painful?

Service of Mourning

Monday, December 17th, 2012

On Sunday mornings I weep at the finale of “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on ABC News when he lists the war dead.

I’ve become even more sensitive to others’ grief since I’ve lost so many dear family members and friends although before I thought I knew what it was like. I’d horrify myself trying to predict how I’d feel knowing I’d never again see certain people. There’s nothing like the real thing and it never gets easier with experience. I wish I could somehow prevent others–even people I dislike–from living through it.

I understand circumstances that lead to suicide but killing innocents, as in Friday’s shooting of five year olds and countless nurturing adults in a Newton, Conn. elementary school, is breathtaking and unfathomable. Unlike hideous and unexpected death from nature–hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, tornadoes and disease–such killing is as unnatural as deliberately flying planes into buildings.

I had planned to post another topic today but the frivolity of every subject was unfitting while so many sit shocked at the loss of their loved ones. They started Friday doing a most normal thing: Sending the little ones off to school or going to their workplace to teach and advise children.

I hope that the media heeds the urging and pleas of Newton police Lieutenant Paul Vance to leave the families alone.

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