Nearly a year ago I’d been reading news stories from around the world and grieving the loss of so many lives. The images of the caravan of hearses and military vehicles pushed into service to carry the dead away was beyond heartbreaking. At least that is how I experienced it. I was talking to a friend of ours about the horrific loss of life at the time and the many suffering through Covid-19 and he remarked that it did not affect him because he didn’t know “those people”. But for me, personally, every number represents a loved one who will never come home again, or it represents somebody suffering, perhaps horridly with the illness. And it affects me. No, I do not know “those people” but does it matter? In my view all life is sacred and precious.
Reaching for something positive in such circumstances seems impossible – what good can anyone see in it? Perhaps, though, we need to recognize that humanity’s never-ending reach into places once wild in order to exploit whatever natural resources there may be has led to this virus being loosed upon humanity at large. Perhaps, just perhaps, there is a lesson to be learned here about rain forests and about wild places and the environment in general.
This evening I learned that a man I’ve never met died. And I grieve. In this case it is the husband of a woman I met only twice but came to know as a funny, wise, and totally awesome person through our engagements on social media. He’d had cancer. It all happened so very quickly. They only found out a couple of months ago and now he’s gone.
Perhaps it is the past year of the constant toll of bells, the constant and rising numbers of the dead, sick, or recovered – and what do they mean by recovered, because to all intents and purposes many people do not recover but spend months recuperating from the damages to their bodies that covid leaves behind.
So, yes, I mourn. I mourn all these people I have never met and I mourn the husband of my friend, a man I also never knew except through anecdotes his wife would share. Life is precious. Life is sacred. And so, to anyone who has lost a loved one, no matter the circumstances, I want you to know this stranger is so deeply sorry for your loss and I am sending my sincere condolences.